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Flughafen Zürich AG commences construction of ground station for GPS-assisted landings

Flughafen Zurich AG is investing four million Swiss francs in a GBAS ground station and is thus supporting the introduction of state-of-the-art landing procedures. Representatives of Flughafen Zürich AG and the technology company Honeywell signed the contract for the purchase and installation of the equipment, which will make GPS-assisted landings more accurate, on 22 May 2013. The construction work commenced on 27 May 2013.

By investing four million Swiss francs, Flughafen Zürich AG is underscoring its role as a leading airport in the development and introduction of state-of-the-art satellite-based flight procedures. Satellite-based GPS technology has been in use at Zurich Airport since March 2011. This advanced approach procedure uses GPS technology to guide aircraft on to runway 14 from the north. The ground-based augmentation system (GBAS), which will be installed on the airport site, will increase the accuracy of the GPS signal so that aircraft with the appropriate equipment will be able to use the GPS technology to land even in low cloud or when visibility is poor. The ground station will meet the technical requirements for introducing further environmentally and noise-optimised procedures in future, such as continuous descent approaches (CDA).

The construction of the new GBAS facility began on 27 May 2013. It will be installed and operated by Skyguide, which is responsible for all navigation facilities in Switzerland. Beginning in autumn 2014 the first landings will take place as part of a one-year monitoring phase; once this phase has been concluded, the facility will be approved for regular operations.

Greater aviation efficiency with SESAR

As part of the SESAR ATM (Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research) project, leading representatives of European air traffic controllers, aircraft manufacturers, airport operators, airlines and systems manufacturers for the aviation industry are working together to modernise and optimise European aviation management. As part of an airport consortium, Flughafen Zurich AG is participating in SESAR and is working on both the technical development of the GBAS as well as on the preparation of procedural and regulatory principles.

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