Dassault Falcon flies 200-foot instrument approach

Dassault´s Falcon 2000LXS has flown an Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP) with a published LPV minima of 200 ft, using Europe´s EGNOS LPV200 service, the company said.

The flight, at Paris´ Charles de Gaulle Airport, was performed as part of initial European LPV200 trials, which also involved Airbus 350 and ATR-700 commercial aircraft.

LPV (Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance) permits aircraft guided approaches operationally equivalent to ILS Cat 1 without the need for ground-based navigation aid infrastructure. The service relies on the availability of GPS and Space Based Augmentation System (SBAS) capabilities like EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) and the US´s Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS).

France was the first European country to publish approach procedures permitting EGNOS LPV200 service with a 200 ft (60 m) minima, the same level of performance as permitted by WAAS and ILS Cat 1.

The EGNOS LPV service was introduced in 2011 but only to a decision height not lower than 250 ft. Dassault´s Falcon 900LX was at that time the first aircraft to fly an EGNOS LPV250 approach (performed in Pau, France early the same year).

LPV approaches make it possible to land at facilities not equipped with expensive instrument landing systems, which includes many small regional and local airports. Lowering the decision height from 250 ft to 200 ft provides a substantial operational benefit in poor weather and low visibility conditions.

Dassault Aviation produces the Rafale fighter jet as well as the complete line of Falcons. The company employs a workforce of over 11,000 and has assembly and production plants in both France and the United States and service facilities around the globe.