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10 February 2012

airberlin starts using satellite-based precision landing system for regular flight operations

Following the German Federal Office for Air Traffic Control’s accreditation of the ground station for the new satellite-based approach and landing system GBAS (Ground Based Augmentation System) as a primary landing system, airberlin will be the first airline in Europe to use satellite-based landings on regular flights at Bremen Airport.

Since 2008, the German Air Traffic Control Authority (DFS) has been working closely with airberlin on the development of the new system. In November 2009, airberlin was the first airline worldwide to receive approval for its Boeing 737 Next Generation fleet to use the GBAS on landings up to a visual range of only 550 metres.

The new satellite-based landing system is much more precise than the instrument- based landing system (ILS) which has been used until now. Other advantages of GBAS landings are that noise pollution on the ground is reduced because approach angles can be varied and in the future it will be possible to use the system in mountainous areas, where it was not previously possible to land using the instrument-based landing system.

On the evening of 9th February 2012 after the first successful landing in Bremen following (the) accreditation, Tim Techt, the pilot technician for airberlin’s Boeing fleet, said: “This innovative technology will make it possible to land more efficiently and with less noise pollution. In the future, GBAS will play a central role in the on-board navigation of our Boeing fleet.”

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