GNSS Sole Means Recommendation Report

Global Navigation Satellite System Sole Means Recommendation Report

One of the most significant aspects of New Southern Sky is the proposed move from land-based to space-based navigation systems. The Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS) is the key technology infrastructure that will support this move.

The GNSS comprises satellite systems owned and operated by the US, Russia, China, India and Europe. These provide navigation information to aviation, and other transport and infrastructure systems. Today the US Global Positioning System (GPS) is the only system certified to provide aviation navigation signals across the world.

The New Zealand context

The Global Navigation Satellite Systems Sole Means Recommendation Report considers the role of GNSS here in New Zealand.

A key NSS project, the report assesses, against international evidence, standards, guidance and best practice, whether GNSS could be used as the only navigation source.

For the purposes of the report, GNSS sole means is described as:

‘Instrument navigation and positioning for any phase of flight using GNSS as the only source of lateral navigation input data’

How did we get there?

The report was produced by the NSS Safety Group (CAA, Ministry of Transport, Airways). The NSS Working Group provided expert oversight and Jeff Cochrane of NavCanada conducted an independent peer review.

Finally, the report was accepted by the NSS Governance Group (CAA, Ministry of Transport, Airways) and provided to the Director of Civil Aviation for consideration.

Conclusions and recommendations

While the major recommendation of the report is that GPS sole means navigation does not provide an adequate level of safety within the New Zealand Flight Information Region, it also suggests  GPS sole means navigation on identified navigation segments could be made available by applying a set of conditions. This was referred to in the report as limited sole means.

With an eye on the future, the report recommends a review of the sole means issue when equipment becomes available that can combine signals from one or more GNSS systems.  Equipment may be available as early as 2021.

Other recommendations include the production of a New Zealand aviation concept of operations, which the New Southern Sky team will deliver in the second quarter of 2016.

The report also highlighted a number of activities underway in the United States to reduce the requirement to rely on GNSS and recommends consideration, in the longer term, of an alternative navigation system to enable Performance Based Navigation.

What does this mean for NSS?

The report has enabled the NSS team and stakeholders to fully understand how safe GPS navigation is in New Zealand today. It provides a solid foundation for the development of the Performance Based Navigation and the Ground Based Navigation Aid strategies. These are both key components of Stage 2.

Contact us for further information on the report.