Any of the 6,000 helicopters that annually use the helipad at Eurocopter’s facility in Donauwörth, Germany, will now find arrivals easier in poor weather with the recent certification of a GPS localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approach to the pad, one of the few in Europe certified for all-weather operations.
In 2008 Donauwörth became the first European helipad to introduce satellite-based Rnav (area navigation) specifically for use by rotorcraft.
The license permitting LPV approaches to the helipad also means Eurocopter in Donauwörth can use the new procedure when testing and approving the latest navigation systems for its helicopters. The company is currently conducting tests with twin-engine EC135s and EC145T2s. Eurocopter also offers its customers training courses for the new LPV approach system, which relies on the European geostationary navigation overlapping service (Egnos) satellite-based format that augments the global navigation satellite system (GNSS).