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Feasibility study into ILS upgrade; decision expected in autumn 2021

Eindhoven Airport is investigating whether it will upgrade its current Instrument Landing System (ILS) category I, so that aircraft will be able take off and land at Eindhoven Airport even in poorer weather conditions with limited runway visibility. The study is a response to the severe disruptions to air traffic at Eindhoven Airport that were experienced last year, generally due to poor visibility in combination with the low category ILS on the runway.

Different studies are being conducted and interviews are being held in preparation for making a well-reasoned decision on whether or not to upgrade the ILS to a higher category. Eindhoven Airport has asked the airlines to provide their preferred category and, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence (the owner of the runway), is investigating what modifications are needed to the runway and at the airport itself to make a higher category ILS possible. The construction and maintenance costs of the upgrade have also been mapped out.

In addition to the Ministry of Defence, Eindhoven Airport has employed the expertise of Schiphol Airport and Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) to help with the feasibility study. The wisest plan at the moment is to combine a possible upgrade with the next major maintenance on the runway. Those plans are are at this stage scheduled for 2025. This will avoid the issue of having to shut down the runway twice for a longer period, and ensures that the modifications to the runway's top layer are not nullified.

Eindhoven Airport is expected to decide on a possible upgrade in the autumn of 2021.

The ILS is a radio navigation system that pilots use to land the plane. The system allows the pilot to navigate a precision approach to the runway. The ILS has three categories (with category IIIB being the most comprehensive). At airports with this highest ILS category, planes can land even with zero visibility of the runway. Eindhoven Airport currently uses an ILS category I, which means that pilots need a minimum runway visibility of 550 metres in order to be granted landing permission.

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About Eindhoven Airport

Eindhoven Airport is the second largest airport in the Netherlands with over 6 million passengers in 2018. The airport serves Brainport region and connects it with Europe and makes the region internationally accessible in balance with surroundings. The convenience for the passenger comes from the airport Álways Easy’ strategy. Flights depart from Eindhoven Airport to over 80 destinations. Speed and the total airport experience are its added values. With 2000 direct jobs the airport has grown into one of the region's largest employers. Business responsibility is part of our DNA. Continuously we pay attention to the balance between international connectivity, the environment, sustainability and the quality of live. The owners of Eindhoven Airport NV are the Schiphol Group, the province Noord-Brabant and Eindhoven city.

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