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Qantas Unveils New Aircraft Landing System

Sydney, 30 April 2007

The Qantas Group today unveiled a new precision landing system called GPS Landing System (GLS) that uses satellite technology to make landings more efficient, accurate and - ultimately - environmentally friendly.

Qantas Chief Pilot Captain Chris Manning said the landmark technology behind the new system had been developed by Boeing, Honeywell and AirServices Australia, with proving and testing undertaken by Qantas.

Captain Manning said GLS:

- had more accurate and stable tracking information than conventional approach systems;
- could be coupled to flexible, curved approach paths, providing more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly flight paths to the runway; and
- provided accurate approach paths to runways that were previously unable to accommodate conventional Instrument Landing Systems for siting, infrastructure or economic reasons.

"The system is supported by Ground-Based Augmentation Systems (GBAS) located at airfields, which provide GPS information to the aircraft via a datalink system and allow for a tracking accuracy typically less than one metre," he said.

"One GBAS provides for up to 90 approaches within a 23 nautical mile radius, unlike conventional Instrument Landing Systems which require an installation for every runway - for example, the three runways at Sydney Airport require two Instrument Landing Systems for each runway," he said.

Captain Manning said GLS was the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) approved replacement technology for the now 50 year-old Instrument Landing System that was expensive to install and maintain.

He said GBAS installations would be rolled out to airfields around Australia and throughout the world and all aircraft with GLS capability would be able to utilise the new approaches.

"Qantas is proud to be an industry leader in the deployment of these advanced capabilities," Captain Manning said.

"The technology is now available on a large number of the airline's fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, and the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 will also come equipped with this capability," Captain Manning said.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3569)
Email: qantasmedia@qantas.com.au