Sydney Airport is the first airport in the Southern Hemisphere to certify a satellite-aided navigation aid with a Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) going into service.
“We’re immensely proud that Sydney is the first airport in Australia to be using GBAS and only the fifth airport globally to facilitate regular aircraft operations using a GBAS,” Sydney Airport Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said.
“This system will better facilitate aircraft movements in low-visibility conditions and enhances our safety systems, which include high intensity approach lights and runway stop bars.”
A single GBAS unit, consisting of four receiving antennas and one transmitter, can do the work of six individual Instrument Landing System (ILS) units, which are located at each of Sydney Airport’s six runway ends.
It replicates existing ILS approaches within a 23 nautical mile (42km) radius of the airport.
Suitably equipped B737s, Dreamliners and A380s are currently capable of using the technology and new aircraft models will be equipped with this capability as standard.
“More and more of our airlines have been adopting this technology as they realise the safety, efficiency and operational benefits, including the ability to operate in low-visibility conditions,” Ms Mather said.
Sydney Airport partnered with Airservices Australia and Honeywell Aerospace to install the technology and facilitated the initial validation flight on the world’s first commercial GLS-equipped aircraft in 2005, a Qantas 737-800.
Sydney Airport’s GBAS system received CASA certification on 29 May and was launched by Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss at Sydney Airport today.
“We’ve invested $2.4 billion in new capacity and facilities and this Australian-first is part of our ongoing commitment to delivering a world-class airport,” Ms Mather said.
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