Airbus announced on Friday that it has delivered the first Airbus A320neo equipped with the latest Satellite Based Landing System (SLS) technology to easyJet. SLS allows pilots to perform direct approaches using satellite accuracy, without the need for additional ground systems such as ILS, even in low visibility conditions, saving fuel and reducing emissions.
The SLS first entered service in Europe with the A350 in 2015, after Airbus pioneered the development and introduction of CAT1 approaches using such technology, with support from the European Space Program Agency (EUSPA) – formerly known as GSA – and the European Commission. The SLS function is also available on the A220 and A330 aircraft families and in progress for the A380.
“By using SLS, airlines benefit from improved operational capabilities and operational efficiency, ” says Philippe Mhun, head of programs and services at Airbus. “We are delighted to offer this new Air Traffic Management feature now on the A320 Family, which demonstrates how Airbus is keeping its aircraft at the forefront of technology . ” He adds: “The introduction of satellite-based technologies highlights the benefit of collaboration across Airbus divisions. With Airbus Defense and Space one of the world’s leaders in satellite technology, we’ve taken that experience and applied it to commercial aviation. We are grateful for the excellent support provided by EUUSPA and the European Commission.”
Airbus is also developing the new generation of EGNOS, the European Satellite-Based Augmentation System. “Airbus is engaged and committed to delivering the next version of the program by 2027 ,” said François Gaullier, head of telecommunications and navigation at Airbus Defense and Space. “SLS users will fully benefit from this as the service becomes available in other European destinations.”
David Morgan, Director of Flight Operations at easyJet, said: “We are excited about this latest technological development as it represents another step towards further improving the efficiency of our operations, helping us to reduce fuel usage and therefore fight our carbon emissions. We believe that the modernization of the aviation sector is a crucial objective that requires the joint and coordinated effort of the entire industry. We are committed to supporting the development of new technologies, together with our partners across the industry, enabling us to operate in the most efficient and technologically advanced way possible for the safety of our customers and the protection of our planet.”
The A320neo Family incorporates new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver at least 20% fuel and CO2 savings, as well as a 50% reduction in noise footprint.
By the end of April 2022, the A320neo Family had received over 8,000 orders from around 130 customers. Since entering service six years ago, Airbus has delivered over 2,200 A320neo Family aircraft, contributing to savings of 15 million tonnes of CO2 over the previous generation aircraft they replace.