IndiGo becomes the first airline in Asia to land using GAGAN-aided approach
New Delhi, April 29, 2022
Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo on Thursday became the first airline in Asia to conduct Localiser Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) Approach.
The airline conducted the LPV approach on its ATR 72-600 aircraft, equipped with GAGAN, at Kishangarh Airport, Ajmer in Rajasthan.
GAGAN is the acronym for GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation, an indigenously developed Space Based Augmentation System (SBAS), jointly developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to provide lateral and vertical guidance on an approach, approximating the accuracy of a Category I Instrument Landing System (ILS).
Thursday's test flight was a part of the approval process with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which includes training of pilots, validation of approach, simulator sessions amongst others.
The test flight was operated by Captain Sandip Sud and Capt Satish Veera and landed in the presence of Capt Shweta Singh, Dy CFOI, FSD, Cdr R.S. Jamwal, Director, ANS, Capt Adhiraj Yadav, SFOI, FSD, Capt Aditya Kumar Singh, FOI, FSD, Capt Vasu Gupta, FOI, FSD and Mr. Gaurav Raghuvanshi, AAI, and IndiGo team.
"This initiative was possible due to continuous endeavours of all stakeholders - MoCA, DGCA, ISRO, AAI and IndiGo," a press release from the airline said.
LPV capability provides the airline operators a precise and near-precision instrument approach option with the lowest minima relative to other approach options, when ILS is either not installed or unavailable, especially in case of Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) airports.
Ronojoy Dutta, Wholetime Director and CEO, IndiGo said, “This is a huge leap for Indian civil aviation and a firm step towards 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat', as India becomes the third country in the world to have their own SBAS system after the USA and Japan. GAGAN will be a gamechanger for civil aviation, leading to modernization of the airspace, reducing flight delays, bringing in fuel savings and improving flight safety. We would like to congratulate and thank MoCA, DGCA, ISRO and AAI for making IndiGo a part of this historical pilot that will change the flight path of Indian aviation.”
DGCA issued a mandate for all aircrafts being registered in India after 1 July 2021 to be fitted with GAGAN equipment. GAGAN Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) user equipment is interoperable with all international SBAS systems - WAAS, EGNOS & MSAS.
"In India’s civil aviation sector, GAGAN will modernize the airspace, reduce flight delays, save fuel, and improve flight safety. Additionally, GAGAN will provide benefits to many other sectors including transportation, railways, surveying, maritime, highways, telecom, and security agencies," the release added.