New operators have evolved from the general aviation market segment, so that seamless door-to-door travel of passengers and freight is the norm (EC, Flightpath 2050 Europe’s Vision for Aviation, 2011). General Aviation accounts for about 5% of the total civil aviation revenues in Europe, and involve about 8% of the civil aviation job posts (AOPA Germany). GA shows a wide range of uses from private and business travels to commercial on demand transport, leisure, sport, training, law enforcement, fire-fighting, medical services, agriculture, parcel service, aerial work (i.e. construction crane) and others.

GRADE Project impact

All these sectors and the society at large can benefit from the improvements coming from the GNSS and SNI application in GA and Rotorcraft activities. General aviation sector shows an increasing interest in GNSS/EGNOS and the vast majority of the European General Aviation IFR community is either interested in installing and using SBAS or, at the very least, have considered using it.

The GRADE Project will perform demonstrations of GNSS and SNI (Simultaneous Non Interferring) application in GA and Rotorcraft activities, composed of both real-time simulations and flight trials. The flight tests will be carried out at two different locations, with different vehicles (two different fixed wing aircraft and one rotorcraft), and will produce data and sound results that can be used to support regulation, standardisation and certification needs for GA and rotorcraft.

Expected outcomes of GRADE project will comprehend performance measures, safety assessment and human performance evaluations. System performance will be expressed in terms of navigation precision of satellite based position system, including comparisons among different navigation positioning solutions. Safety assessment will be expressed in terms of reliability of the proposed solutions, as well as in terms of capacity to manage non-nominal and failure conditions. Human performance measures will apply to workload and situational awareness of both pilot and air traffic controllers.

GRADE is expected toimprove safety and airport accessibility of GA and Rotorcraft to:

  • regional and small non-instrumented airports;
  • large airports not equipped with the ILS system;
  • major ILS equipped airports (for GA and rotorcraft not equipped with ILS airborne devices)