First SBAS approaches for Helicopter and Aeroplane operators in South Africa


On March 2016, PildoLabs, in cooperation with Lanseria International Airport and the local aeroplane and helicopter operators (MCC Aviation and HALO aviation), led the first SBAS flight campaign in South Africa with ARTEMIS signal

Several instrument flight procedures based on SBAS were successfully flown in the Johannesburg area during the second week of March. The flight campaign included APV SBAS approaches for Lanseria International airport runway 07 and Helicopter specific SBAS approach and departures (so called Point-in-Space manoeuvres) to Johannesburg Hospital. A low-level-route (RNP 0.3) connecting the airport with the hospital was also successfully flown.

Within the frame of this project, the MCC King Air 200 and HALO HEMS Bell 222 were equipped with PildoLabs flight validation platform PLATERO. The system collected and processed the signal from Avanti Communication’s geostationary satellite ARTEMIS and was able to provide the guidance to the pilot for performing the APV SBAS approaches to both locations.
Pilots feedback was extremely positive. They expressed their willingness to have this technology available in their region as soon as possible.

Thanks to GNSS, and in particular SBAS, the aviation community will be able to fly IFR procedures, increasing the safety and their number of operations.

The activity is framed within the SBAS Africa programme funded by the UK Space Agency, where an end-to-end SBAS test-bed has been deployed to demonstrate the benefits of implementing SBAS capabilities in Southern and Eastern Africa. The programme is led by Avanti Communications, and counts with the support of the South African Space Agency (SANSA).

More information about the SBAS Africa Project here

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