Chopper touches down with EGNOS

The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) has successfully guided a helicopter to touch down at an emergency medical service landing pad during trials in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Eurocopter carried out the trials using its EC155 experimental all-weather helicopter, and the Swiss air navigation service provider, skyguide, coordinated the trial programme. The Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) pad was on the roof of LausanneUniversityHospital.

The trial approaches were designed by skyguide for 6° and 9° approach angles. The test pilots reported that despite the steepness of the approaches, the standard approach angle is 3°, they were easy to fly thanks to the three-dimensional guidance provided by EGNOS.

The trials were performed as part of the GNSS Introduction in the AviatioN secTor (GIANT) project. GIANT is a European Commission Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) project that supports the safe introduction of EGNOS and Galileo services into the aviation market.