Satellite ground station opens at Sydney Airport

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The trial GBAS system at Sydney Airport. Photo: Airservices Australia

Sydney Airport has become the first airport in the Southern Hemisphere – and only the fifth in the world – to certify a satellite-based navigation and landing aid with a Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) going into service.

A single GBAS unit, consisting of four receiving antennas and one transmitter, can do the work of six individual Instrument Landing System (ILS) units, which are located at each of Sydney Airport’s six runway ends. By making satellite navigation more precise, it enables suitably-equipped aircraft to fly precision approaches  using satellite navigation instead of an external radio glide slope.

The GBAS replicates existing ILS approaches within a 23 nautical mile radius of the airport. 

Suitably equipped Boeing 737s, 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A380s are currently capable of using the technology and new aircraft models will be equipped with this capability as standard. 
The system is certified to ICAO CAT-I (200 ft decision height and 550m runway visual range).

Sydney Airport’s GBAS system received CASA certification on 29 May and was launched by Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss at Sydney Airport this week.

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