New Delhi:  IndiGo Airlines owned by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd on Thursday became the first airline in Asia to use the Localiser Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) Approach, the airline said.

In a statement, the company said the airline conducted the LPV approach on its ATR 72-600 aircraft, equipped with GAGAN, at Kishangarh Airport (Ajmer) on April 28.

The term GAGAN stands for GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation a space-based augmentation system (SBAS), jointly developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and 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).

This test flight is a part of the approval process with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which includes training of pilots, validation of the approach and simulator sessions amongst others.

According to the airlines, 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.

“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,” Ronojoy Dutta, Wholetime Director and CEO of the airlines said.

He said GAGAN will be a game-changer for civil aviation, leading to the modernization of the airspace, reducing flight delays, bringing in fuel savings and improving flight safety.

The DGCA issued a mandate for all aircrafts being registered in India after July 1, 2021, to be fitted with GAGAN equipment.

GAGAN Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) user equipment is interoperable with all international SBAS systems – WAAS of USA, EGNOS of Europe and Japan’s 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.

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