Leonardo and ENAV: agreement for a more efficient use of helicopters in civil airspace

(To Leonardo)
06/10/20

To modernize and make the use of helicopters and the use of airspace safer, more efficient and sustainable by exploiting the most advanced technologies dedicated to navigation. This is one of the objectives of the Letter of Intent (LoI), signed by Leonardo and ENAV, which launches a collaboration aimed at offering helicopter operators products and services in the field of advanced instrumental navigation, helping to renew the connected infrastructures as well. A commitment, therefore, to the strengthening of a fundamental resource for the country.

This is a collaboration in the name of innovation and which, through the Letter of Intent, combines Leonardo's industrial capabilities in the design, industrialization, supply and support of modern and performing helicopters and ENAV's expertise in development and management. of the airspace in Italy and abroad.

The agreement will allow the two partners to define and provide integrated solutions of absolute excellence, to private and institutional operators in Italy and abroad, giving life to a unique initiative today at an international level, also contributing to the country's objectives in terms sustainability, digitalization and security of Italian critical infrastructures, of which both partners are key stakeholders.

Currently, in fact, the infrastructures at the service of air navigation, in particular the flight procedures and the definition of airspace, are conceived and built to mainly support the operations of fixed-wing aircraft, limiting the potential and versatility in movement offered by the rotary wing. Helicopters, due to their intrinsic characteristics, have great flexibility and a greater degree of freedom of maneuver represented, among other things, by the ability to take-off and landing vertically and by stationary flight.

The high certification standards of Leonardo's helicopters, with their advanced systems and equipment, already make it possible to develop and use flight procedures that comply with the modern requirements of the so-called Performance Based Navigation ("PBN") to support the various phases of flight and ENAV has been at the forefront, for years, in the design of PBN procedures on both fixed and rotary wings.

PBN flight procedures, implemented through advanced satellite navigation, contribute significantly to optimizing the use of airspace. In fact, they guarantee an increase in the safety of flight operations thanks to the higher precision in navigation and in the approach and landing procedures, especially essential in complex weather conditions, alongside or overcoming the more traditional systems based on ground stations (the so-called " radio assistance ").

PBN procedures also make it possible to reduce polluting emissions and noise impact thanks to dedicated routes and greater efficiency. Passenger transport, helicopter rescue, civil protection, surveillance and fire fighting operations in all weather conditions, day and night, are among the main application areas that can take advantage of this technological advancement. Its implementation and dissemination produces significant benefits for flight safety, environmental protection, flexibility, speed and effectiveness of interventions to support the population, greater efficiency of transport services.