ENAIRE improves operations at the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport with new satellite navigation approach procedures


ENAIRE, the national air navigation service provider, has made a new improvement to the operational performance at the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport with new satellite-based approach procedures for runways 25R/L, 07R/L and 02.

By implementing these new procedures, ENAIRE is increasing the efficiency of operations, as well as accessibility to the airport. Since these procedures do not depend on ground-based navaids, they provide a very useful solution as an improvement or alternative to the current, conventional approaches based on ground systems.

Through these efforts, ENAIRE is also making available to users of the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport satellite-based approaches that improve the safety and consistency of operations. This is all possible without having to set up additional land infrastructure, which provides financial savings and operational benefits as a result.

To carry out these procedures based on the use of satellite navigation, aircraft need to be properly equipped and their crews trained on its use. With regard to the ILS precision approaches available at the airport, these procedures improve the safety and consistency of operations over the current situation in the event of maintenance, or if the ILS is unexpectedly unavailable for a runway.

As for the VOR/DME non-precision approach instrument procedures, the new satellite-based procedures improve performance, providing vertical guidance to aircraft in the final phase of the approach and bringing the decision height – which is where the pilot must decide whether to continue or abort the landing – closer to the runway threshold, thus improving service continuity at the airport.

The best performance

Barcelona is the first airport in Spain to implement SBAS instrument approach procedures for CAT I operations, thanks to the European satellite navigation system, EGNOS. Another nationwide innovation involving this project is the use of satellite navigation during approach operations to parallel runways.

The recent implementation of these new procedures in Barcelona is in addition to those already in place at the airports of Seve Ballesteros – Santander, Almería, Valencia, Fuerteventura, Palma, César Manrique- Lanzarote, Vigo, A Coruña and San Sebastián, as part of ENAIRE’s Plan to implement Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) Procedures.

In addition, the Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport has a satellite-based ground augmentation system called GBAS, and procedures for precision instrument operations based on this system.

ENAIRE’s 2025 Flight Plan

These new approach procedures based on satellite navigation will help continue to move forward in meeting the requirements of the Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) Implementation Plan, laid out in ENAIRE’s strategic 2025 Flight Plan. It also assists in complying with European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1048, the aim of which is to improve the efficiency of air traffic management at the European level by implementing PBN.

In order to allow for these new landing and take-off procedures, ENAIRE has conducted the necessary safety studies, which were duly coordinated with the National Aviation Safety Agency (AESA).

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