Ground based augmentation systems

Increasing capacity by using GBAS to improve runway throughput.

GBAS is a key enabler in developing advanced approaches and optimised procedures for low visibility operations in adverse weather. GBAS operations can also help with other aspects of airport management, such as wake vortex risk encounter and noise reduction.

One of GBAS’s major benefits is its cost-efficiency: only one ground station is needed to service multiple approaches different runway ends at one airport.

For airports, GBAS advanced airport operations - based on increased glide slopes and adaptive runway aiming points - are expected to:

  • reduce runway occupancy times;
  • lower the risk of wake vortex problems due to displaced runway thresholds;
  • increase runway throughput in low visibility and adverse weather conditions by supporting reduced spacing on final approach;
  • reduce noise concerns in the vicinity of airports through GBAS’s increased glide slopes and curved approaches.

GBAS-optimised low visibility operations are primarily aimed at busy airports with capacity limitations as they facilitate runway throughput. They bring a direct benefit to passengers as more flights become possible. GBAS’s advanced procedures can directly support airports seeking to address noise issues and determine efficient arrival paths.

Our role

We at EUROCONTROL have supported GBAS for the last twenty years. In the last ten years, EUROCONTROL has primarily supported GBAS CAT II/III projects (fully automatic approach and landing), notably through SESAR and ICAO. We have fostered the development of this satellite-based system, seeing it evolve to a dual frequency multi constellation (DF-MC) environment.