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

For what it’s worth, the ATCOs at Belfast despise the class E and wish for just about anything else other than it. Obviously it may fit some situations better than some but I would be surprised if it could be integrated in and around the LTMA in a way that works for all parties.

Class E works great in a State funded ATC system – like France and the USA.

The USA runs it the best way, with Class E down to about 1200ft, which makes it illegal for VFR traffic to be there in IMC, zooming through somebody’s IAP.

Obviously being illegal is no assurance of not being there but it will greatly reduce the likelihood.

Class E would never work for a large scale UK deployment because you have to somehow fund the ATC desks (at about a million quid a year for a fully costed H24 desk) to provide a service for all that Class E in case somebody wants to fly IFR in it. It is simply not going to happen!

Last Edited by Peter at 05 Jun 15:10
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Class E would never work for a large scale UK deployment

Perhaps but I don’t think it should be dismissed for smaller scale deployment such as for Wycombe Airpark.

The last AOPA magazine, here, has an interesting article on LPV at Exeter (EGTE), on pages 36-39.

Apparently Garmin charge $5000 (plus $1500 per approach) for a special “chip” for the GPS, which is required to prove the approach. Presumably this is the cost of loading the unpublished approach into the GPS database.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

There is a stated objective that EASA want to see every runway in Europe with an LPV approach. This must be subject to a suitability caveat, but ADF, VOR and ILS procedures are on the way out.

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

It makes sense but a solution has to be found for the UK requirement of mandatory ATC for any IAP.

This appears solvable for Class G airports by the sleigh of hand that an IFR clearance is not possible in G and thus cannot be required, so this leaves just the “emotional” issue with 2 planes flying the IAP concurrently – which is no worse than one plane flying the IAP under ATC clearance and another flying straight through the IAP platform altitude, possibly IFR in IMC, non-radio, which is 100% legal in the UK…. and which happens a lot already in VMC (seen it many times)!

Also it’s going to cost money. I reckon the average LPV capability upgrade cost is €10k.

Last Edited by Peter at 04 Jul 10:36
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

This map plots all current and planned LNAV and LPV approaches across Europe.
I’m not sure quite how accurate it is for future plans shown in orange, the active ones in green seem to be pretty accurately listed.

It’s interesting to compare progress and upcoming plans between countries.
UK currently has 2 LPV airports (excluding Alderney) but shows planned dates in 2015 for a further 24.
These include a bunch of Scottish Islands (many may already have had them for specially approved commercial use), Scilly Isles/Lands End, and a few regional airports (Southend, Belfast etc.) Shoreham is indicated with availability of LPV from April 2015.
This is quite a surge from today’s figure.

France and Germany already have quite a substantial number.
Norway has quite a few planned even right up in the Arctic Circle, whereas Sweden (which originally was very sceptical) shows just six.
Spain plans a few but dates are mostly well in the future (2020).
Eastern European countries, who have recently signed agreements with ESSP/EGNOS, such as Romania and Bulgaria are starting to deploy them too.
This month Slovakia caught up with the UK, launching their two new LPV airports.

At the risk of sounding like the Eurovision Song Contest, Greece comes bottom with null points. I guess the weather isn’t normally quite so bad there ;)

This all looks quite promising, but I’m not that convinced of the target to achieve 26 airports in the UK by the end of 2015 from our current status.
Nothing visible has happened since those two were published last summer.

EGBJ, United Kingdom

It does look good, but I think it is based on PR statements of airport business development managers, because I happen to know for a fact that some of the approaches listed cannot be delivered. Sorry – no detail.

Time will tell.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Interesting map, thanks for sharing. I can see quite some interesting destinations popping up. And at least now I know why I spent all that money getting my airplane LPV enabled and certified.

LSZH, Switzerland

Hi there,

Any sign of new LPV approaches in the UK? There seemed to be a lot of momentum at one point planning to release them around this time but I haven’t heard much since.


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