ECARO (Egnos Civil Aviation ROadmap)

ECARO (Egnos Civil Aviation ROadmap)

Egnos Civil Aviation Roadmap

ECARO (Egnos Civil Aviation Roadmap) is a 27-months project started in August 2019, as part of the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA, formerly GSA) activities aiming at adopting European GNSS systems.

ECARO is a multidisciplinary project for the multiple domains concerned: PBN, Airports, Helicopter Operations, FIV Aircraft, RPAS. Within the larger objective of the implementation of EGNOS (LPV) procedures on the airports of Genoa, Trieste, Bari, Turin and Grottaglie, Planetek developed a service that is able to assess the presence of interfering signal, and GPS receivers' behaviour, with respect to the L1 frequency, used by both Galileo and GPS.

The project consortium is composed by ENAV (leader), DTA, Planetek Italia, UMS Skeldar and Airgreen.

The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) is Europe’s regional satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) that is used to improve the performance of the global positioning system (GPS).

Such infrastructure is an opportunity for ENAV, the Italian provider of navigation services, to implement new Local Performance with Vertical guidance (LPV) flight procedures and new low level routs with performance based navigation (PBN) standards in the Italian airspace.
Main objectives of this technical proposal named ECARO (Egnos Civil Aviation ROadmap) is the development of flight and approach procedures based on EGNOS navigation signal and appropriate receiving devices and it will give a significant contribution towards EGNOS exploitation in Europe, in particular for rotorcraft operation and RPAS operations.

The main objectives of the project are:

  • Implementation of EGNOS (LPV) procedures on the airports of Genoa, Trieste, Bari, Turin and Grottaglie
  • Development of 3 PBN backbones for the helicopters (namely: Adriatica, Appenninica and Tirrenica)
  • Retrofit of 2 aircrafts of the ENAV’ Flight Inspection fleet with SBAS and ADS-B avionics
  • Development of a mobile platform for the validation of helicopter procedures
  • Experimentation of LPV approaches for drones at on Grottaglie airport

Benefits related to ECARO

Airport accessibility

In general, RNP approaches supports the reduction of the number of operational disruptions during periods of bad weather conditions or where ILS is unavailable. This may occur at airports without ILS capability or where the ILS is out of service or available only for one runway end. The improvement in terms of the operational minima enabled by RNP approach can allow the aircraft to land at an airport where it would otherwise encounter a disruption. This may occur during periods where a combination of low cloud ceiling or reduced runway visibility and current published minima would result in a failure to see the runway in advance of the missed approach point by the pilot.
In relation to the scenario selected, the operational benefits can be summarized as follows:

Enhanced Safety in terms of reducing the probability of Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) accidents, enabling Continuous Descent Final Approach (CDFA);

  • Increased Safety for airports where there are no precision approaches, removing also the need for circling approaches;
  • Minima reduction;
  • Increased airport accessibility with particular terrain constraints;

Rotorcraft flights.

The main advantage coming from the development of low level routes networks specifically addresses the enhancement of safety performances concerning helicopters operations:

  • Enhanced Safety in conducting helicopters operation along pre-defined routes separated from obstacles and terrain;
  • Increase in number of operations, being less dependent on meteorological conditions;
  • Use of modern helicopters PBN capabilities, leading to safer flight and to pilot workload reduction;

Development of RPAS segment.

The development of RNP APCH instrument flight procedures for the airport of Grottaglie, associated with the study of the impact of interferences on the EGNOS signal will enable the exploitation of the EGNOS-based navigation services for RPAS operation and the advancement toward the RPAS insertion into European Air Traffic Network. The project outcomes are expected to deliver several impacts in this respect:

  • Development of knowledge, skills and know-how about RPAS flight procedures.
  • Enhanced safety of the airport so that probability of accidents (Controlled Flight Into Terrain – CFIT) are reduced while new smoother trajectories are enabled,
  • Increased capacity to validate innovative civil applications of RPAS,
  • Increased capacity for emergency management RPAS flights,

Further details on DTA website