France and ILS approaches

People seem surprised by the fact that ILS in France are decommissioned at a rapid pace.
Almost ten years ago, in 2007, the ICAO passed  resolution 36-23
The Assembly Resolves that:(…)
a) States complete a PBN implementation plan by 2009 to achieve: (..)
2)implementation of approach procedures with vertical guidance (APV) (Baro VNAV and/or augmented GNSS) for all instrument runway ends, either as the primary approach or as a back-up for precision approaches by 2016
In 2010 or 2011 (I could not find the actual date) the DGAC issued a document in French and English
You could read in that document that the objectives targeted by the DGAC are the publication, by the end of 2016, of an RNAV (GNSS) approach over all controlled IFR aerodrome runway ends, including a certain number with vertical guidance (APV SBAS or APV Baro-VNA)
So the plan was in line with ICAO recommendations. But you had to read further on: Navaids Rationalisation
The gradual deployment of RNAV (GNSS) procedures will allow the appropriateness of maintaining certain navigation means used for NDB, VOR or ILS Cat I approaches to be evaluated. Thus, when an RNAV (GNSS) procedure is published at an aerodrome where a conventional approach procedure based on a NDB or VOR beacon exists, an analysis will be conducted to measure the advantages of maintaining that beacon and the related approach procedure. Similarly, some ILS Cat I procedures may be replaced by an APV procedure. Such analyses will be conducted on a case by case basis. The following elements must be taken into account: the environment (obstacles); equipment of users flying to and from the aerodrome; economic viability (traffic justifying the installation being maintained); existence of a Delegation or a Public Service Obligation; existence of a special activity (school); significance within a national operating network, especially public transport.
If you translate that in plain English, it meant most ILS will be decommissioned unless political pressure is strong enough. So you had some time to get prepared.
The official list of decommissioned ILS was published in March 2015. The most recent list of available GNSS procedure is here. 2015 and 2016 charts are provided so that you can see how fast it goes.
What puzzles me is that countries such as Belgium had their first GNSS approach only last month, and that most flight schools in Europe keep on teaching NDB approaches to IR student, and on not teaching GNSS approaches, just as if the GPS would not exist.

Author: Xavier

Pilote instructeur avions et ULM, pratiquant aussi le planeur, le motoplaneur et l’hélicoptère. Aeroplane and Microlight Aircrafts Flight Instructor. I also fly motorgliders, gliders and helicopters

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