Eurocopter to offer LPV guidance at Donauwörth
The onsite helicopter landing pad at Eurocopter’s headquarters in Germany is the first helipad in Europe to make use of Localizer Performance with Vertical (LPV) guidance, a highly precise, GPS-supported instrument approach procedure.
The new procedure supplements conventional lateral guidance systems by adding the vertical component, which enables approach guidance to be displayed in 3D for the first time.
The license permitting LPV approaches to the helipad also means Eurocopter in Donauwörth can use the new procedure when testing and approving the latest navigation systems for use in its helicopters. Eurocopter is currently conducting these tests using its twin-engine EC135 and EC145 T2 helicopters.
The Group’s international customers stand to benefit from these improved conditions for landing approaches, as they can now take off and land even in bad weather. Eurocopter also offers its customers training courses for the new system.
The LPV instrument approach procedure is based on the European Geostationary Navigation Overlapping Service (EGNOS) satellite-based format, which augments the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNNS) to allow three-dimensional positioning.
In 2008, for example, Donauwörth became the first European helipad to introduce satellite-based RNAV (area navigation) specifically for use by helicopters and recently, Eurocopter in Marignane successfully approved new landing procedures relying on augmented satellite guidance allowing lower sound level footprints.