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New York anticipates GBAS benefits

05 October 2017
Coming soon to New York: GBAS is being installed at JFK (pictured) and LaGuardia airports. Source: Getty

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has begun installing Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) ground stations at JFK and LaGuardia airports in New York.

“The installation is expected within 12–18 months if all goes well,” Ralph Tamburro, PANYNJ programme manager for delay reduction, told Jane’s .

The PANYNJ is also upgrading its initial GBAS installation at Newark Liberty – the first US airport to go operational with the technology – to include Block II software with Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS).

“Newark Liberty will be the first airport in the world to have this capability,” said Tamburro, “which should lead to a Cat II approach capability on a Cat I system”. The PANYNJ plans to work with Delta and United Airlines, and equipment supplier Honeywell, in order to gain the approval from the FAA.

Tamburro said the primary benefit of the current system is resiliency to withstand heavy snowfall that can take the instrument landing system (ILS) out of service. Additional benefits include the capability of 48 airport approaches from one system, compared with one with ILS, which benefits noise abatement; and the capability to assist departures during very low-visibility conditions when ILS critical areas need protection.

“This is a benefit for air traffic control, allowing for unrestricted movement of traffic on the airport surface,” he noted. “Another benefit is its precise capability. One-metre accuracy is something an ILS will never have.”

Tamburro is especially interested in the ability to fly a curved approach to intercept a GBAS Landing System (GLS) approach closer to the runway than an ILS. “In the NY airspace this could provide the ability to de-conflict approaches between airports,” he said. “This is something that has plagued NY for many years.”

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