Home' Australian Aviation Magazine : December 09 Contents 64
DECEMBER 2009 AUSTRALIAN AVIATION
consider expanding the GBAS service to
other airports in Australia.
GBAS will mean lower capital invest-
ment and ongoing maintenance costs
including fewer flight inspections, and
will allow for continued operations during
flight inspections or airport works.
Airser vices is working with CASA to
achieve the GBAS CAT I ser vice approval
"Before ILS is replaced ICAO says
it requires a GPS approach system, like
GBAS, and conventional instrument land-
ing systems to be run in parallel to validate
the satellite based system's accuracy and
reliability," said Jackson.
Interestingly, the FIS crews are on con-
stant standby in the event of a major inci-
dent occurring at a navaid equipped airport.
"If there is a suspicion that the accident
may have involved a navaid we would be
called in to assess the navaid, no matter
where we are in the country at the time," said
Blatchford. "Before any aircraft can land on
the incident runway we will conduct a cali-
bration check. Fortunately this hasn't hap-
pened but it is one of our functions. If there
is some question about the navigation aid in
relation to an accident we will investigate it."
FIS will also respond to reports of
anomalies observed by pilots.
"If we receive a report of something
unusual happening during an approach we
will set up and repeat exactly what the crew
did and investigate."
At the beginning of its flight inspec-
tion contract with Airservices spare excess
capacity was soon found.
"When we got really efficient with
what we were doing, if we didn't have one
aircraft sitting there doing nothing we had
two -- we just didn't have enough extra
work," said Jackson.
So AeroPearl was able to pick up
several overseas inspection contracts and
in turn was able to reduce its costs to
Airservices by using its assets and paying
per hour lease payments. " is came off
the bottom line for us and it was passed
straight on to industry."
AeroPearl conducts flight inspections at
airports and en route navaids in Singapore,
Cambodia and Vietnam, and has gone as
far afield as India to Leh, one of the high-
est airstrips in the world at 10,000ft.
" e first time we went to India we had
an Indian Air Force navigator on board
as there was a set route in and out of the
airfield because of a war zone," explained
Blatchford. "We were calibrating a VOR
up at around 27,000ft which put us in the
middle of the Himalayas."
AeroPearl commissioned the navaids
at the refurbished and modernised New
Delhi Airport in 2006. e commis-
sioning of a new navaid requires double
the usual time to ensure the equipment
is within limits and to obtain accurate
data to be used as a benchmark for future
"We have done a lot of new commis-
sionings lately," said omas. "Vietnam
is currently updating most of its navaid
equipment and we have spent a lot of time
over there recently."
FIS can also be deployed within the
region to assist with the establishment of
military forward operating bases. Before
the first troops were deployed to Dili,
mobile TACANs were set up to guide in
military transport aircraft.
e economics of the supplemen-
tal overseas FIS work is double edged.
"With the extra work overseas, and all of
our radio navigation and radar replace-
ment projects that have come up in the
last three or four years as part of our big
capital expenditure program, some of the
equipment and airframes are now reach-
ing the end of their economical lives,"
said Jackson. "Most believed earlier this
decade that we probably wouldn't have
needed FIS as much because the 'expected'
advancements in technology would have
already been in place."
In the meantime, with only a handful
of years remaining before their eventual
replacement under a new contract, the
FIS King Airs continue to enable aircraft,
their passengers and crew the safest possi-
ble landings at airports locally and around
INTO THE FUTURE? The FIS equipment is nearing the end of its economical life and is due to be replaced
under a new turn-key contract. (Paul Sadler)
FIX IT Airservices Australia's aptly registered King Air 350 VH-FIX climbs out after making an ILS approach.
Note the reflector box behind the nosewheel doors. (Michael Marston)
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