• SJU reference # PJ.01-W2-06 /Release 10
  • Stakeholders
  • Benefits Operational efficiency
  • Status In the pipeline


Operating safely in constrained terminal or urban areas calls for accurate navigation by rotorcraft to ease access to environments such as large city airports, hospital helipads and remote locations in hostile areas. SESAR 2020 is evaluating navigation performance benefits of implementing dedicated rotorcraft procedures enabled by enhanced satellite-based technology. The candidate solution is expected to facilitate the mixed traffic management and contributing to the operational efficiency (rotorcraft flight efficiency), access and equity, capacity and safety.

The candidate solution makes use of multi-frequency, multi-constellation (MFMC GNSS) global navigation satellite system (GNSS) technology for more robust system coverage and improved signal availability. Higher integrity satellite navigation performance brings improved synchronization and resilience when carrying out procedures such as 3D approaches, point-in-space approaches and flying low-level instrument flight Rules (IFR) routes. It also helps to mitigate vulnerabilities arising from ionosphere disturbance and radio frequency interference affecting a single frequency.

New satellite receivers provide technical benefits including improved operational continuity, reduced false alerts and support more demanding performance-based navigation (PBN) specifications. Rotorcraft operations based on low required navigation performance (RNP) such as RNP0.1 will benefit from improved access inside the terminal area and airports close to urban areas. In fact, the enhanced IFR rotorcraft operations (based on RNP0.1) are expected to improve the current design criteria (e.g. buffer area, more flexible route design options, etc.), allowing for the creation of a network of rotorcraft routes/procedures that are strategically separated from the existing procedures for conventional fixed-wing aircraft.

The candidate solution supports more widespread use of instrument flight (IFR routes/procedures) operations in line with ICAO PBN goals and continued rationalization of conventional ground-based navigational aids.


Safer, more flexible operations

Better integration between rotorcraft and fixed-wing aircraft

Contributes to ICAO performance-based goals