Fraport starting GBAS landings on the southern and central runways

Boeing 747-8 Lufthansa Photo by Fraport

The first satellite-supported precision landings with an increased angle of approach of 3.2° began at Frankfurt Airport on March 30 with an Airbus A319 and a Lufthansa Boeing 747-8 on the airport’s southern and central runways.

Until now, such landings with increased approach angles were only possible on the northwest runway. The precision-landing, ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) introduced by DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, Fraport AG and Lufthansa in Frankfurt in 2014 now also makes it possible to raise the approach angle on all other runways for appropriately equipped aircraft from three to 3.2 degrees.

Raising the angle of approach during the final approach is an effective, active measure to counteract noise and is capable of achieving noise reduction in the most intensive noise range when landing. This has already been demonstrated by the 3.2° approach using ILS on the northwest runway. Approaches of 3.2° on the existing runways will especially benefit the municipalities of Raunheim, Rüsselsheim, Bischofsheim and Mainz-Süd as well as Offenbach and Neu-Isenburg.

About GBAS

GBAS enables precise landings based on satellite navigation and an additional ground station. The accuracy provided by satellite navigation alone of approximately plus or minus 15 metres is not sufficient for landings. Only the interaction with a ground station achieves this, as the ground station conducts a required correction of the satellite signal.

GBAS also enables landings with a steeper approach angle; 3.2° instead of the usual 3°. With the usual landing procedure using an instrument landing system, until now this could only be achieved by installing an additional system. Which is why there are already four instrument landing systems at the northwest runway since it was commissioned.

The new, robust technology also provides other essential benefits compared to approaches currently used in Frankfurt. A single GBAS ground station, for instance, can support approaches to several runways, which the ILS cannot.If aircraft are equipped with the appropriate on-board receivers in the future, GBAS will be able to supersede the instrument landing system (ILS) completely.

— Frankfurt Airport/Fraport