Airbus Helicopters announced Tuesday that it has successfully demonstrated low-noise helicopter (IFR) operations at an airport with commercial airline traffic.
Airbus Helicopters used an H175 helicopter to fly low-noise IFR approaches to the heliport of Toulouse-Blagnac airport in south-western France as the outcome of a seven-year project devoted to environment-friendly helicopter approach procedures.
The approach procedures were flown using accurate lateral and vertical guidance provided by EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service), the European Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS), and in the presence of airplane traffic simultaneously approaching and departing to/from airport runways.
It further proved the suitability of these helicopter-specific procedures to achieve Simultaneous Non Interfering (SNI) aircraft and rotorcraft IFR operations at a medium-size commercial airport.
Tomasz Krysinski the Head of Innovation and Research at Airbus Helicopters said, “We are confident these environment-friendly IFR procedures will contribute to easing helicopter access at airports and remote sites in noise-sensitive areas, thus paving the way for the development of passenger transport with high-speed helicopters.”
The low-noise helicopter-specific IFR approach procedures are based on the noise optimised flight paths successfully validated in 2013 by Airbus Helicopters with an H155 and having demonstrated noise footprint reductions of up to 50 per cent, which is one of the Clean Sky initiative’s high-level goals.
Detailed design and integration of the procedures in Toulouse airspace was achieved by GARDEN, a partner project with expertise in Air Traffic Management (ATM) that supports Airbus Helicopters in Clean Sky.
Airbus Helicopters demonstration is a part of Clean Sky’s Green Rotorcraft Integrated Technology Demonstrator program.