Posted on: 24 November 2014 by Mark Howells
ATR has gained certification from the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) for the ‘Standard 2’ version of its avionics suite for ATR 42-600 and ATR 72-600 aircraft, designed to reduce pilot workload.
The new version of ATR’s -600 avionics suite features improvements to the LPV (Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance), RNP-AR 0.3 (Required Navigation Performance with Authorization Required) and V-NAV (Vertical Navigation).
LPV allows approach procedures based on GPS information augmented by geostationary satellites, meaning the aircraft can be guided on vertical and horizontal axes without the need of support from a ground station. It is particularly useful for smaller, regional airports not equipped with an Instrument Landing System (ILS). High precision LPV approaches can achieve minimums of up to 200 feet, permitting landings with greatly reduced visibility.
RNP-AR 0.3 allows aircraft to better anticipate potential obstacles when approaching difficult to access airfields by following trajectories with greater accuracy. Unlike RNAV (GPS), RNP-AR approaches are subject to increased monitoring of aircraft performance combined with onboard navigation alerts. In addition, this new feature is also used in the management of traffic at heavily congested airports or for anti-noise procedures.
VNAV provides vertical guidance managed by the aircraft's flight management system(FMS). Based on the calculations of the FMS, the autopilot controls the aircraft to follow a specified vertical profile. This more accurately defines descent and approach trajectories, providing better safety in relation to the possible presence of obstacles. VNAV significantly reduces the workload of pilots approaching airports; this functionality is essential for RNP-AR operations.
Carmine Orsi, senior VP of engineering at ATR, explained the ‘Standard 2’ avionics suite “will allow ATR -600s to be even more efficient, more economic and more versatile. We are pleased to offer our operators the very latest innovations in terms of navigational aids and thus facilitate their day-to-day operations, while further increasing aviation safety and helping reduce congestion at certain airports.”