Belgian operators Flyinggroup and ASL have separately received approval for LPV approaches from EASA. Both are among the first companies in Europe to achieve the milestone. Localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches are anticipated to improve safety as well as airport accessibility by reducing the amount of flight cancellations or diversions due to low visibility.
The vast majority of flights performed by business aviation operators up to now have taken place under IFR, using radio navigation aids as well as GPS determined routes and waypoints. Precision approaches provide both lateral and vertical guidance to the pilots down to a minimum or 'decision' altitude. LPV is the latest innovation of this technology and offers the highest precision GPS aviation instrument approach procedures on the market, with landing minima similar to those of an instrument landing system, that is to say a decision height of 200 feet and a visibility of 550m. Airports can now gain ILS capability without the purchase or installation of any ground-based navigation equipment at the airport.
An ICAO statement issued several years ago urged the aviation community worldwide to adopt LPV by 2016. Territories are implementing space-based LPV procedures apace, with the intention to cover all of the EU by 2018.