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Easier to land at Göteborg Landvetter in heavy fog

Photo of aircraft landing at Göteborg Landvetter Airport
2015-02-06, kl. 12:41

Aircraft now have the possibility of landing at Göteborg Landvetter during very poor visibility conditions. The airport’s instrument landing system has been upgraded to so-called CAT IIIb, which allows landings also in very heavy fog.

“Obviously, we are very pleased that, after a great deal of work, we can now ensure that flying is an even smoother and more reliable way to travel. This enhances access in our region,” says Charlotte Ljunggren, airport director at Göteborg Landvetter Airport.

In order for aircraft to land during poor visibility conditions, the airport has an instrument landing system (ILS). This helps pilots to maintain the right altitude and direction for a perfect landing.

There are different categories of ILS that provide different degrees of assistance. A higher category of ILS allows aircraft to land in poorer visibility. Previously, Göteborg Landvetter Airport had ILS CAT II, which requires a runway visibility range of 350 metres and a decision height (the altitude from which the pilot must see that the aircraft is on the right approach path) of 100 feet. With the airport now going over to CAT IIIb, it is enough to see 50 metres on the runway and no decision altitude is needed, in other words, zero feet.

Behind the upgrade, which was approved by the Swedish Transport Agency, are a number of measures, which took several years to implement. These include new runway lighting buried in the take-off and landing runway – work that was carried out in phases between 2012 and 2014. Runway lights are now spaced 15 metres apart, compared to 30 metres previously. Furthermore, the adjustments to the instrument landing system were tested over several thousand hours, maintenance and flight measurements of the system were expanded, and air traffic management’s approach procedures were updated.

In order for aircraft to use the CAT IIIb system, they are required to have special equipment. It is estimated that about 70 per cent of the aircraft that fly today at Göteborg Landvetter have this equipment and therefore can now also land during very poor visibility conditions.