An Airbus A350, a Dassault Falcon 2000LXS and an ATR42-600 have become the first aircraft to fly an Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP) with a published LPV minima of 200ft, using Europe's EGNOS LPV200 service. The tests, at Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport, was performed as part of initial European LPV200 trials.
LPV (Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance) permits aircraft guided approaches operationally equivalent to ILS Cat 1 without the need for ground-based navigation aid infrastructure. The service relies on the availability of GPS and Space Based Augmentation System (SBAS) capabilities like EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) and the US's Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS).
The availability of the EGNOS LPV-200 (Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance) service level was announced on 29th September 2015. France was the first European country to publish approach procedures permitting EGNOS LPV200 service with a 200ft (60m) minima, the same level of performance as permitted by WAAS and ILS Cat 1.
The EGNOS LPV service was introduced in 2011 but only to a decision height not lower than 250 ft. Dassault's Falcon 900LX was at that time the first aircraft to fly an EGNOS LPV250 approach (performed in Pau, France early the same year).
LPV approaches make it possible to land at facilities not equipped with expensive instrument landing systems, which includes many small regional and local airports. Lowering the decision height from 250 ft to 200 ft provides a substantial operational benefit in poor weather and low visibility conditions.
"The accuracy and stability of LPV guidance is really amazing, much better than with ILS," said Dassault test pilot Jean-Louis Dumas, who was at the controls alongside operational pilot Olivier Perriaud during the EGNOS LPV200 trials.