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UK CAA heel dragging on GPS approaches, including LPV (merged)

LPV Approaches: US 3,052 - Europe 42 - UK 0

US LPV Approaches now 3052

European 42 - none of which in UK

EGTK Oxford

Well, there is Alderney. Crown dependency rather than UK, but it's still an "EG" airfield code.

I agree it's fairly pitiful!

London area

Nice try.

EGTK Oxford

That's part of the plan Jason. EGNOS is a European satellite and the UK couldn't possibly use it, it would be a move in the wrong direction!

Ha! No, they are happy to use EGNOS but want G-reg aircraft to be given a higher level of accuracy than others.

EGTK Oxford

they are happy to use EGNOS but want G-reg aircraft to be given a higher level of accuracy than others.

Do you have a reference for that?

I think the basic problem is the same one as has always been.

In the UK, and most other places, an approach controller (a qualified ATCO, i.e. the appropriate pay scale and the specific rest breaks, etc) is mandatory for any instrument approach. He/she doesn't need to be radar qualified since there is no requirement for radar. It can just be somebody sitting in a hut, 1000nm away, with no windows and a radio, scheduling people procedurally for the IAP. The cost of an approach service, with the costs of equipment maintenance service contracts, the building, etc, for just say 8am-8pm is of the order of £500k/year. Whereas a FISO or an A/G radio operator costs far less. And there is almost certainly not a single UK non-instrument airfield which could recover this extra cost from the landing fees and fuel sales of aircraft that would fly in under IFR. The US-style central funding doesn't exist in the UK.

Nearly all airfields that already have ATC also have an IAP. If that is an ILS, the incentive to do LPV is almost nil because almost everybody can fly an ILS whereas almost nobody can fly LPV.

The airfield has to pay something like 20-30k for the design of the IAP, which it won't recover from LPV landings.

I don't see this ever changing to the benefit of GA i.e. non-IFR airfields getting an IAP of any sort, never mind LPV - unless the mandatory-ATC requirement is removed.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Do you have a reference for that?

Umm Peter, leave your sense of humour at home this morning?

EGTK Oxford

they are happy to use EGNOS but want G-reg aircraft to be given a higher level of accuracy than others.

Do you have a reference for that?

:)))

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

I don't see this ever changing to the benefit of GA i.e. non-IFR airfields getting an IAP of any sort, never mind LPV - unless the mandatory-ATC requirement is removed.

You have IAPs in airspace G in the UK, don't you? This would imply without ATC. In Germany LPV is considered to be very interesting as it is going to be the only affordable way of getting a precision approach for GA airfields. There are a number of airfields that have been waiting for years. Unfortunately Germany still requires the airspace to be changed from G to F for the procedure as IFR in G is prohibited -- SERA will fix that.

You have IAPs in airspace G in the UK, don't you? This would imply without ATC.

No; they all have ATC, regardless of airspace class.

OK; you might argue that ATC in Class G is meaningless since there is no possible "clearance", which is true, but we have what we have..... Class G ATC still "clears" you for the approach.

What makes it a double charade is that you can be cleared for the approach, while somebody can be flying straight through the same air, non-radio, non-transponder, etc. And that does actually happen, relatively often IME. I had to break off an IAP (IR training) at Shoreham due to a twin flying the same path (non radio) and got a very close one at Lydd. I think these are good reasons for getting my TCAS installation.

In Germany LPV is considered to be very interesting as it is going to be the only affordable way of getting a precision approach for GA airfields. There are a number of airfields that have been waiting for years.

Presumably you have centrally funded approach controllers, or have found some other way to prevent multiple aircraft flying the same IAP at the same time. One way might be to self-schedule but AFAIK that proposal is simply too emotionally unacceptable.

We do have remote approach controllers here (e.g. Thames Radar doing it for Biggin Hill, for which BH is believed to be paying of the order of £100k/year flat rate though the actual figure is confidential) but those are mostly a radar service provision; I know of only one remote case where the airfield is non-ATC (Walney Island). The issue is ATC funding, with full cost recovery being operated. For example NATS charge about £100k/year for the provision of a radar feed (a piece of wire, basically; the data is already there).

Umm Peter, leave your sense of humour at home this morning?

I thought it was entirely possible that you read it somewhere.

A few years ago I was at a UK CAA presentation on GPS approaches, done by the head of the responsible department. He revealed an amazing "fact": they asked the FAA if they ever studied GPS reliability, and apparently the reply was NO. Thus, the USA looked like a load of cowboys. In reality, a few minutes online was enough for me to dig up countless studies in the USA, so I guess the CAA may have got some lavatory cleaner on the phone... Anyway, the CAA did due diligence and paid a firm of consultants to do a GPS reliability study, and found that the probability if a failure was (from vague memory) something like 1 in ten million approaches. I guess they felt they needed to carry out a CYA exercise.

The self justification diatribe for the Galileo project, over the years, is enough to make one sick. Bizzare claims of 100000 extra jobs created, etc, etc. I don't know if their notorious website is still up; I am on holiday so won't go looking for it.

To add: The only people who can fly LPV (light GA) are those with a GNSx30W (and who went through the EASA Major Mod process, or if N-reg went through something like this) or those with a GTN650/750 which are IMHO still in the "debug" phase

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
168 Posts
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