Procedure Design

An Instrument Flight Procedure (IFP or „instrument approach‟) supports pilots to position and then land an aircraft safely in reduced visibility conditions. Approaches are classified as either precision or non-precision, depending on the accuracy and capabilities of the navigational aids (navaids), such as DME or ILS, used. Similar procedures exist to fly safe and accurate departure profiles from airports as well. The reasons for the (re)design of procedures can be several:

  • Installation of new or adapted navigation equipment at a new or existing runway;
  • Extending your business to other categories of aircraft;
  • Resolving interfering traffic patterns;
  • Resolving issues with high-rise objects, such as buildings, wind turbines, electricity poles;
  • Resolving noise issues.

International guidance for the design of such procedures is provided by ICAO in Doc 8168, also known as the PANS-OPS, describing the essential areas and obstacle clearance requirements for the achievement of safe, regular instrument flight operations.
For countries of the European Union, regulations of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are also of relevance. Currently, EASA is drafting regulations for the operations of aerodromes.

National legislation will prescribe which regulations or guidelines you need to adhere to and how the approval process is defined. In the end, the instrument procedure will need to be published in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) to have a formal status.
To make the procedure design and approval process effective and efficient, NLR-ATSI has the knowledge and experience to support you. We design procedures in accordance with PANS-OPS criteria, for both conventional procedures as well as for procedures based on GNSS. We can discuss with you and other involved stakeholders which alternative is optimum. We can support you in gathering and documenting the evidence that the procedure satisfies the safety and environmental objectives. NLR can also provide flight inspection of designed procedures with one of the two NLR test aircraft. Noise assessment may be done of designed procedures using models like the Integrated Noise Model (INM), which is the current practice method in aircraft noise assessments.

Our experience includes:
Design of instrument approach procedure Teuge
Alternative departure procedures Frankfurt/Main airport, 2011

NLR-ATSI provided consultancy to the Rheinland-Pfalz Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Verkehr, Landwirtschaft und Weinbau regarding changes to departure procedures from runways at Frankfurt/Main airport as proposed by Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS). Question was whether the proposed changes were the most optimal solution regarding the noise burden for the populated areas in and around Mainz. Several alternative designs of departure procedures were proposed. These alternatives enabled lowering the noise emissions at the main populated areas in Rheinland-Pfalz.

Instrument procedures Lelystad airport, 2010

In view of the foreseen activation of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) at Lelystad Airport, NLR-ATSI has designed Instrument Approach Procedures for both conventional and RNAV approaches and has analysed the associated safety aspects.

Safety case on RF legs

Noise hindrance may result from aircraft deviating from the assumed nominal departure route. In order to improve flight path accuracy during turns, it is proposed to design Schiphol departures with so-called Radius to a Fix segments (or “RF legs”) for noise abatement purposes only. Commissioned by Knowlegde Development Centre of Mainport Schiphol, NLR-ATSI executed a safety assessment of the situation with departures including RF legs, including the formulation of safety objectives, the identification of hazards, an analysis of causes and consequences, and the definition of safety requirements.

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