For en-route navigation, thanks to an upgraded on-board Multi-Mode Receiver (MMR) unit, A330neo pilots will be able to use a new ‘Satellite-Based Augmentation System’ (SBAS) function which will be increasingly needed and obligatory by 2025 throughout North American airspace. This GPS augmentation is accomplished with a regional infrastructure such as Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) over the US, and the European Geostationary Overlay Service (EGNOS) over Europe etc. En-route navigation using this method provides ATC with an accurate alternative to traditional ground-based Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR).
The A330neo is further ‘future-proofed’ by incorporating ‘FANS-C” 4D Trajectory-Based Operations’, whereby the aircraft will offer ‘Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract’ (ADS-C) capability to transmit automatically or on-demand the aircraft’s complete predicted four-dimensional aircraft trajectory (3D + time) to the ATC controller. In parallel, the aircraft’s CPDLC equipment facilitates the digital uplink of ATC orders and clearances. The benefits of FANS-C include more accurate flight plans, more optimised trajectory computation and acceptance processes, better alignment of airlines’ and ATM planned trajectories, enhancement of aircraft traffic predictions and improvement of demand/capacity network calculations. For FANS-C capability the aircraft is also fitted with a new data link Air Traffic Services Unit (ATSU), an upgraded Flight Management System (FMS) and a Datalink Control and Display Unit (DCDU).
For the subsequent approach phase, A330neo pilots will welcome another important cockpit development which was originally designed into the A380 and A350: the concept of standardizing the approaches around the concept of the “xLS”.
“Essentially this allows pilots to fly most of the approaches as if they were using a regular ILS procedure,” explains Roy. “This is made possible via different xLS modes: ‘Satellite Landing System’ (SLS) and ‘GBAS Landing System’ (GLS), both using positional information from GPS low-earth-orbit (LEO) constellations and reinforced respectively by SBAS augmentation (mentioned above for en-route navigation), or via fixed ‘Ground-Based Augmentation Systems’ (GBAS) stations at the destination airport.”