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Decommissioning plans for NDB VOR & especially ILS across Europe

As mentioned on this thread the UK CAA wants to

For those with less well equipped aircraft, pressure to upgrade or be faced with exclusion from certain routes or procedures, has to be applied as an incentive rather than as a threat to their business.

I wonder how they want to achieve this in practice.

France for one is in the process of retiring a number of ILS installations and replacing them with LPV approaches. There is not much information to be found on this except this 2013 notice from the DGAC’s industrial union, but the process is definitely ongoing as more and more ILS are put out of service once they come up for calibration. In a first step, this affects the following airports:

ALBI
ANGERS
AURILLAC
AUXERRE
BOURGES
CALAIS
COLMAR
DOLE-TAVAUX
EPINAL
LA ROCHE S/YON
LE HAVRE
LE MANS
LYON-BRON (I think this has been stopped by the airport taking over the maintenance of the ILS themselves)
MENDE
MONTLUÇON
MORLAIX
NANCY-ESSEY
NÎMES
PONTOISE
QUIMPER
ROCHEFORT
ROUEN
SAINT-BRIEUC
SAINT-NAZAIRE
TROYES
VALENCE
VALENCIENNES
VANNES
VICHY

Later on, the following ILS are planned to be decommissioned:
AGEN
ALBERT-BRAY
ANGOULÊME
ANNECY
AVIGNON
BÉZIERS
BRIVE
CAEN
CARCASSONNE
CASTRES
CHERBOURG
DINARD
LANNION
LE PUY
LE TOUQUET
MELUN
MERVILLE
PÉRIGUEUX
POITIERS
RODEZ
SAINT-ETIENNE

So even if the UK CAA wants a “carrot” approach rather than a “stick”, soon if you want to fly outside your country you will have good reasons to equip your plane with PRNAV capability if you want to reliably fly IFR in sub-VMC weather in France.

Last Edited by Rwy20 at 26 Jan 10:20

Rwy20 wrote:

…equip your plane with PRNAV capability…

PRNAV is not enough, you will need LPV. Some of these are frequent destinations of our company. Currently we have 11 (soon 12) jets in our fleet, but maybe only three or four of them are LPV capable. Which means that we may in the future miss many flights to these destinations when the weather is below non-precision minima. My guess is that other operators have fleets which are similarly equipped as ours, so these airfields might one day regret their decision.

EDDS - Stuttgart

How expensive is it to upgrade those jets to LPV?

Flyer59 wrote:

How expensive is it to upgrade those jets to LPV?

It can be prohibitively expensive depending on the current avionics. Some CJs are quoted $50-100k. On some aircraft it is not possible to upgrade.

Assuming the airport has LNAV/VNAV minimums many aircraft may still be OK to fly there unless the weather is between LPV and L/V minimums.

Last Edited by JasonC at 26 Jan 10:53
EGTK Oxford

JasonC wrote:

It can be prohibitively expensive depending on the current avionics.

First, you need to exchange the FMS to a version that is LPV capable. Cost will be around 100.000 Euros. Next you need to get a software modification of the integrated avionics computers so the the synthetic glideslope can be displayed and coupled to FD/AP. If this is possible at all, the manufacturer (Honeywell in our case) will ask a six figure sum for it. And third, all these modifications need to be approved by our authorities. Cost is not a factor here, but the downtime of the aircraft will be substantial. A pilot around here has got the FMS of a “D” registered private KingAir exchanged last year. The aircraft was grounded for over three months until all the paperwork was in order again… This would be prohibitive in our kind of operation. Which means that these aircraft probably never will be LPV capable.

And I would say the same applies to almost every transport category aeroplane that was not LPV capable when it left the factory (i.e. 98% of the current fleet…). Taking down ILS and replacing it with LPV will make your airfield a deserted place.

Last Edited by what_next at 26 Jan 11:01
EDDS - Stuttgart

… Then the € 10 K to upgrade/certify my SR22 to LPV was pretty cheap.
But I guess sooner or later it will have to be done, right?

Why is it that in the US all you need is a TSO146 navigator and the accompanying AFM pages to fly an LPV approach but in Europe you need to spend 10k€ apparently to upgrade paperwork??

YPJT, United Arab Emirates

Why is it that in the US all you need is a TSO146 navigator and the accompanying AFM pages to fly an LPV approach but in Europe you need to spend 10k€ apparently to upgrade paperwork??

It depends on whether the GPS comes with the AFMS.

Normally, an AFMS is a Major mod and this is the case under FAA and EASA. See this for example where a Field Approval was used to do that

The new Garmin GTN boxes come with an EASA AML STC and this includes the AFMS. So these boxes can “just” be installed and the AFMS inserted into your POH and you are good to go – RNAV terminal and enroute, and LPV. There are gotchas with some autopilots which won’t accept a non-ILS glideslope.

The older LPV boxes i.e. GNS430W/530W did not ever get EASA AML STCs so on them getting the AFMS is an EASA Major mod…

In FAA-land, any “W” GPS comes with the STC and the AFMS. Maybe not the old GNS480, but that one isn’t 8.33.

PRNAV is an unrelated issue and needs an FAA LoA which is virtually impossible to get today for an N-reg. But there appears to be no relevant enforcement on PRNAV.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Gotta love EASA…. 10,000€ for a piece of paper…

YPJT, United Arab Emirates

AnthonyQ wrote:

Gotta love EASA…. 10,000€ for a piece of paper…

Just the paperwork? Don’t think so.

I did the upgrade last year, the main cost point (to get LPV above everything else I did) was to upgrade the GNS430 to WAAS. The certification (that part) was part of the rest (AP/PFD/GNS430W) but for a capable installation, it should not be that much.

The primary thing for small GA is WAAS capability.

Looking at this news, I am damn glad I listened to my friend who (in the last moment during the installation) intervened and told me to do the upgrade. The aircraft has flown several LPV approaches since. Clearly, this will be the future. Those airplanes who can’t upgrade or won’t due to cost, will loose a lot of destinations in the future.

LSZH, Switzerland
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