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airberlin first airline to use new precision approach in Malaga

05/07/2014 | by AirBerlin from press release

airberlin continues to expand its pioneering role in the use of innovative navigational methods. On 5th May 2014, the air navigation provider within the Spanish Aena Group, in partnership with airberlin, put the second GBAS (Ground Based Augmentation System) precision approach technology in Europe into operation at Malaga Airport. Flight AB7988 from Palma de Mallorca landed at Andalusia’s largest airport at 4:30 pm using the satellite-supported approach system for the first time.

Since 2008, airberlin has been working with the air navigation provider within the Spanish Aena Group and has supported Malaga Airport’s GBAS project with its expertise in flight operations and by monitoring GBAS signals during scheduled operations.

The new satellite-supported GBAS approach system is substantially more precise than the traditional instrumentation-based landing system (ILS) as it uses data from both satellites and a ground control station. A further advantage of the GBAS system is its variable approach architecture, which can reduce noise emissions on the ground and allows for approaches in mountainous regions that were previously impossible with ILS technology.

Michail Tounas, Fleet Manager Boeing at airberlin: “We are very pleased to have completed the first landing with the GBAS system in Malaga. We already showed our commitment to modern navigational systems back in 2012 when we used Europe’s first GBAS precision approach system in Bremen. For the past few months, we have also been using Europe’s first hybrid approach system in Innsbruck. This system combines the traditional localizer instrumentation-based landing system with the satellite-supported RNP (Required Navigation Performance) precision system.”

Since 2008, Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS - German Air Traffic Control Services) has been working in close cooperation with airberlin on the further development of the GBAS system.
In November 2009, airberlin was the first airline in the world to receive approval for GBAS approaches for visibility levels as low as 550 metres for its Boeing 737 Next Generation fleet.

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