Air Berlin flight makes satellite-based landing

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Published: February 13, 2012

Air Berlin (AB) on Thursday completed its first successful satellite-based landing at Bremen Airport, following the accreditation of Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) as a primary landing system.

According to AB, the new satellite-based landing system is much more precise than the instrument-based landing system (ILS) formerly used. GBAS landings reduce noise pollution on the ground because approach angles can be varied. It will eventually be possible to use the system in mountainous areas.

The German Air Traffic Control Authority (DFS) has been working closely with AB on the development of the new system since 2008 (ATW Daily News, July 15, 2008). In November 2009, AB was the first airline worldwide to receive approval for its Boeing 737NG fleet to use GBAS on landings up to a visual range of only 550 m.

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