Let’s take these questions one part at a time. First, why design your airport’s future around antennas from the past? Years ago, many airports began experienced flight delays during times of high-volume traffic especially during low visibility IFR conditions. At numerous airports when delays occurred, it would cause a condition known as “multi-taxi” referring to lines of aircraft waiting to fly out of the airport. On high visibility VFR days, even as approaching flights had requested and were approved for coupled approach, there was pressure upon ATC to allow the aircraft to taxi forward, violating the ILS Critical Area in order to increase throughput capacity. This policy procedure of approving an ILS approach but not protecting the ILS critical area causes dangerous signal interference for aircraft on ILS approach and is directly related to the use of low capacity, operationally antiquated ILS antennas. This dangerous policy remains a serious chronic procedural safety risk at airports throughout the world the solution of which is to replace operationally antiquated overly broad radiating ILS Antennas with narrow radiating, high throughput capacity Advanced ILS Antennas to simultaneously allow coupled ILS approaches and aircraft to taxi into position.
Now to address the second part of the question. Why hold up an airport’s future waiting for reliable WAAS or GBAS. Many airports have deferred making cost effective improvements to their ILS believing that GNSS solutions such as WAAS or SBAS are forthcoming to replace the ILS. The truth is, however, that after more than 20 years, neither of these systems meet reliability metrics as defined by the FAA or ICAO that would allow them to replace the ILS because both rely on weak easily disrupted GNSS signals. The situation, in fact, is worsening as the incidents of GNSS signal disruptions from spoofing and jamming are on the rise. Don’t take our word for it, do your research. Here is a good place to start.
Imagine being able to plan, design and build airport infrastructure constrained only by the limits of physical space and not by the signal behavior of any particular landing system. Or imagine installing an ILS where you had been told would be cost prohibitive. Imagine the efficiencies produced when aircraft and ground crews are able to move about unencumbered by ILS Critical and Sensitive Areas, pilots landing confident of uninterrupted coupled approaches and ATC managing fewer numbers of delayed surface and airborne traffic. Now, imagine saving millions on site prep excavation or environmental wetlands mitigation and ending up turning a regional airport into an economic catalyst for the entire local community.
Intrigued? You don’t have to imagine these capabilities, you can get them! They are available right now from Watts Antenna Company. We have ILS solutions for all airport environments. From mountaintops to seaside locations, we can provide you a high performance Advanced ILS solution.
Watts Antenna Company manufactures high performance advanced ILS Antenna systems that can be utilized to increase airport capacity and efficiency or simply to provide ILS at the world’s toughest sites. For stand alone ILS Antenna System solutions or as comparable performance backup antenna systems for GPS/GNSS, either way, we will significantly increase the efficiency and capabilities of every airport in which our antennas are installed!
Multi-taxi surface congestion occurrence shown at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, demonstrating a need for the increased throughput capacity our advanced antenna systems can provide. (Picture by Etienne du Plessis.)
Pressure is intense on airports, particularly smaller ones, to employ their facilities in the most economically advantageous ways. For example, the inability to situate large hangars due to multipath concerns related to the use of standard ILS Antennas can disqualify some airports from coveted hub status. While ILS transmitter and monitor technology have significantly improved over the years, ILS antenna technology worldwide has lagged well behind. The standard ILS Antenna array has relatively the same performance and overall design as it had for the past several decades even though it is the most important subsystem in providing improvements to any airspace system. While innovations have been limited due to lack of funding and interest, Watts Antenna Company, believing ILS had more to contribute, continued to innovate and to privately self fund Advanced ILS R&D.
Today, Watts Antenna Company has a full complement of Advanced ILS Antennas capable of significantly reducing ILS Critical and Sensitive Areas while simultaneously increasing airport capacity and operational safety wherever our antennas are deployed regardless of how challenging your sites may be.