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Expansion of the UK GNSS rollout programme launched - Grants Available

The UK Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport have announced the start of the third phase of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Programme and are encouraging those eligible to participate in the programme to register their interest before 30 September 2022.

The GNSS Programme supports the further expansion of the UK’s General Aviation sector by helping airfields that wish to implement new approach procedures that use satellites, much like GPS in your car. This technology can improve flight safety when landing in poorer weather as well as creating new commercial opportunities for GA airfields. It also provides increased resilience for helicopter emergency services, where previous operations have been limited to visual flight conditions.

For this third phase, the Department for Transport has increased its grant funding limit from 50 per cent to 75 per cent for successful applicants to develop GNSS Instrument Flight Procedures. The Civil Aviation Authority will also provide specialist knowledge and support on the relevant processes through its Facilitation Team, helping guide sponsors through their project. The Programme has also been extended to included helicopter landing sites for Air Ambulance emergency services.

Minister for Aviation, Robert Courts, said:

“This Government has always been dedicated to helping the UK’s aviation sector to expand and grow. By helping more airfields to harness the latest satellite innovations and procedures, this programme will both improve flight safety across the UK and expand the type of flights they can operate.

Airfields are crucial to their local economies and communities, so not only will this mean more people will be able to fly with confidence, but it will also be key in helping to level up the country.”

Rob Bishton, Group Director of Safety and Airspace Regulation at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

“The DfT considers Phase 3 of the GNSS Programme as a priority activity for us here at the Civil Aviation Authority. The support that the UK government is providing through its financial assistance, and the expertise available through the Civil Aviation Authority’s Facilitation Team, will provide a fantastic opportunity to those interested in implementing GNSS procedures within the UK, resulting in increased safety as well as improved commercial benefits to GA airfields.”

For more information about the GNSS programme and how your organisation can participate please visit our dedicated webpage:

AOPA Comment:

AOPA UK welcomes this latest initiative as we fundamentally believe that having more GNSS approaches improves safety and offers additional business opportunities for aerodromes. However, we have some scepticism, based on our previous experience with the CAA in attempts to get GNSS approaches approved at five UK airfields, that we will see an expansion in UK GNSS approaches in the near future. Also, the loss of access to the GALILEO LPV service is a further hindrance.  

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