Eurocopter obtained the first license in Europe permitting localizer-performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches on a helipad, at its development and production facility in Donauwörth, Germany. The helicopter manufacturer emphasized that such a procedure improves safety in poor visibility, since aircraft can overfly obstacles more safely.
According to Eurocopter, it can now use the new procedure when testing navigation systems. The company is currently doing so on the EC135 and the in-development EC145T2 light twins. In addition, Eurocopter offers its customers training courses for the new system.
The LPV instrument procedure is based on the European Geostationary Navigation Overlapping Service (Egnos), a GPS augmentation system that is the counterpart of the U.S. Waas. Eurocopter claims its Donauwörth helipad, which handles 6,000 aircraft movements annually, is “one of the few helipads in the world to have been certified as suitable for all-weather operations in line with ICAO requirements.”
The manufacturer also said new landing procedures, relying on Egnos, are allowing smaller noise footprints at its headquarters in Marignane, France.