Airbus has delivered the first Airbus A320neo equipped with the latest Satellite Based Landing System (SLS) technology to long standing customer easyJet. SLS enables pilots to perform ‘straight-in’ approaches using satellite precision when coming into land at airports, without the need for additional ground-based systems such as *ILS, even in low-visibility conditions, while saving fuel and reducing emissions.
SLS first entered service in Europe with the A350 in 2015 after Airbus had successfully pioneered its development and introduction for *CAT1 approaches with support of the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) – formerly known as the GSA – and the European Commission. An SLS function is also available on A220 and A330 aircraft families and in progress for the A380.
“By using SLS, airlines benefit from improved operational capabilities and operational efficiency,” says Philippe Mhun, Airbus Head of Programmes and Services. “We are very pleased to offer this new Air Traffic Management capability now on the A320 Family, which demonstrates how Airbus is keeping its aircraft at the cutting-edge of technology.”
He adds: “The introduction of satellite based technologies highlights the benefit of Airbus’ cross-divisional collaboration. With Airbus Defence and Space being one of the world leaders in satellite technology, we take advantage of this expertise and apply it to commercial aviation. We are grateful for the excellent support provided by the EUSPA and the European Commission.”
Airbus is also developing the new generation of EGNOS, the European Satellite Based Augmentation System. “Airbus is engaged and committed to the delivery of the next version of the programme by 2027,” stated François Gaullier, Head of Telecom and Navigation at Airbus Defence and Space. “SLS users will seamlessly benefit from the increase in performance as the service becomes available at additional European destinations.”
David Morgan, Director of Flight Operations, easyJet, said: “We are excited about this latest technological development as it represents another step towards further improvement of the efficiency of our operations while helping us to reduce fuel usage and therefore tackle our carbon emissions. “We believe that modernising the aviation sector is a crucial goal requiring the joint and coordinated effort of the entire industry. We are committed to support the development of new technologies, together with our partners across the industry, allowing us to operate in the most efficient and technologically-advanced way possible for the safety of our customers and the protection of our planet.”
The A320neo Family incorporates new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver at least 20 percent fuel and CO2 savings, as well as a 50 percent noise footprint reduction. At the end of April 2022 the A320neo Family had received more than 8,000 orders from around 130 customers. Since its entry into service six years ago, Airbus has delivered over 2,200 A320neo Family aircraft contributing to 15 million tonnes of CO2 saving versus the previous generation aircraft which they replace.
For more information on EGNOS, click here.
Read the Airbus FAST article https://aircraft.airbus.com/
*ILS = Instrument Landing System is a system which works by sending radio waves downrange from the runway end, with aircraft that intercept it using the radio waves to guide them towards the runway.
*CAT1/2/3 = Precision Category approach defines the precision in terms of ‘decision height’ and ‘runway visual range’. (“CAT3” is the most precise of these.)
Featured image credited to Airbus