The Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) is a satellite-based precision landing system for aircraft. It is far more flexible than the instrument landing system currently in use and may replace it in the future. At Braunschweig-Wolfsburg airport, the Institute for Flight Guidance operates its own GBAS station.
Since 2009, the experimental GBAS station of the company Thales has been in operation to research precision approach procedures based on satellite navigation data. This installation, which has the qualities of a certified facility, has different experimental configuration options and is used in different projects to research innovative procedures and guidance methods in flight tests. Usually, the goals are to avoid noise and optimise flight paths through the use of particularly flexible approach paths.
GBAS works by analysing the relatively imprecise GPS signals received from satellites and then sending correction messages to the aircraft. This enables a GBAS-equipped aircraft to determine its position with utmost precision. In addition, pre-defined approach paths can be sent. Given both of these components, inbound traffic can use a GBAS station as an approach aid.