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Performance Based Navigation

4 juillet 2016 - Transports

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HOP ! A commitment to PBN/LPV approaches

4 juillet 2016 (mis à jour le 8 juillet 2016)

in a few words

HOP ! is the new airline consolidating three French regional airlines of the Air France Group : Brit Air, Regional and Airlinair. HOP ! has a modern fleet of Embraers , Bombardier CRJs and ATR (12 ATR 42-500, 5 ATR 72-500 et 5 ATR 72-600) contributing to HOP ! Air France short haul activity : a vast network of 130 routes, mixing regional aircraft with Airbus 320 and 319 on the short haul point to point market. Each year, HOP ! carries over 1 000 000 passengers in 30 000 scheduled flights to 30 airports in France and Europe.

Alain Brothier, VP Fleet HOP ! Answers

  • Why have you decided to invest in SBAS equipment for you ATR fleet ?

In relation to its activity, HOP ! is mostly concerned with the future of regional airports and has to accompany the structural changes decided by DSNA.
Starting in 2016, in the framework of the French PBN plan, a number of ILS CAT I have been progressively decommissioned. In the meantime, LPV approach procedures were actively published to allow a wider use of such approaches. Today, our ATR 42-500 fleet flies to 8 airports which are concerned by the ILS CAT I stoppage, leaving us with no ground-based precision approach means. Thus, to ensure service to these airports for our customers, we have to make sure that an independent, aircraft-based precision approach can be flown in almost all weather conditions. LPV capability on our ATR42-500 fleet will be installed.

  • What is the potential foreseen by HOP ! with PBN/LPV deployment in France ?

HOP ! Operates to remote areas for which only air transport provides fast regional connections and regular service to Paris. The commitment to our customers is to ensure continuity of service, notably as regards public service obligations. For those airports where DSNA will disengage from the ILS maintenance, the connections we provide to these destinations remain of highest interest to our customers and also to the local authorities as they support the local economy. The deployment of PBN approaches with LPV minima will enable us to continue to operate key regional destinations for our passengers regardless of navaids rationalization plan, while ensuring the highest levels of safety.

  • Could you tell us more about the retrofit procedure and where it stands for ? When will the entire fleet be ready ? What is particularly at stake in such process ?

Our 5 ATR72-600 are already LPV capable.
For the rest of our ATR 42 fleet, we must commit to our retrofit roadmap and be ready before the end of 2018.
Preliminary work begun mid-2014 with HOP !-Airlinair, allowing us to identify and mitigate inherent project risks.
Delivery of prototype kits and equipment is expected for July 2016, test flight scheduled in September for certification. We should obtain TSO approval for the modified GPS on the first prototype aircraft by January 2017 at the latest. Implementation on subsequent aircraft is expected to take place from January 2017 to November 2018 during scheduled maintenance slots. For the sake of cost effectiveness, planning and technical solutions cost have been optimized.
In parallel, our flight ops department will file an application for operational approval to ensure LPV approach availability on relevant airfields while a safety study will be conducted according to internal processes.

  • What were the costs to be born and how was this project financed ?

The contract signed between HOP ! And the European GNSS Agency (GSA) covers the November 2015 – November 2018 period for the retrofit of 13 aircrafts. The project scope is today encompassing the 13 ATR42-500 from HOP !-Airlinair fleet, and may evolve if the fleet management leads to phase-in or phase-out some ATR42-500. The approach followed by HOP ! for this project ensures that the LPV benefit is maximized for our passenger by targeting these aircraft towards the airfields not included in the ILS minimal network. Taking into account the amount of investment, this project has been possible thanks to the sponsor of the European GNSS Agency and the support of DSNA.