AirBaltic starts LPV operation in Dash8 fleet
After successful completion of PBN training for crew, the Latvian operator has carried out over 20 LPV operations on their Dash 8 Q400 fleet. These operations are not new to AirBaltic as the functionality is also available on their Bombardier CS300 for which they are the launch customer worldwide. However, contrary to the CSeries which are LPV ready by default, the Dash8 required certain modifications to receive certification for LPV. The Supplemental Type Certificate for this retrofit, which was developed by the USA design organisation Canard, had been previously approved by the FAA in November 2016 and received EASA certification under STC number 10061069 on the 22nd of February 2017. To date, airBaltic has upgraded 8 units out of 12 in fleet while the remaining 4 will be upgraded during the next maintenance C-check scheduled in winter 2018.
The STC is based on the installation of Universal Avionics UNS-1Ew FMS, GPS/SBAS antennas and Blue Avionics BA-440 router/filter which feeds FMS data into the EGPWS computer during a LPV approach, fully complying with the former EASA regulation on “Excessive Downward Deviation From Glideslope” alerting for TAWS.
The carrier, which performs more than 40 thousand flights per year, is currently flying to 25 European destinations with an LPV in place and these could grow up to 34 by 2019 according to current ANSPs’ plans, putting the performed LPV numbers on a clearly growing trend.
The development of such STC as well as the purchase of the equipment, its installation, certification and crew training have been funded by GSA through a Competitive Call for Grants launched in 2014.