Airbus’ A220 twinjet has been certified to a higher autoland capability by the European safety regulator (EASA).
Both the A220-100 and -300 have been approved for low-weather minima autoland operations down to Category IIIa and IIIb.
The introduction of the capability has been confirmed by the European Aviation Safety Agency’s latest revision of the type certification. Cat IIIa and IIIb approaches allow decision heights to be as little as zero, with specific minimum requirements for runway visibility.
For use of this new autoland, the airport needs to be equipt with the correct landing systems so it is safe for the autopilot to guide the aircraft to the ground with no outside visibility for the pilots. Pilots will choose to land the aircraft themselves over the autoland approach when conditions allow. Most CAT IIIb approaches allow the crew to get down to 150ft AGL where they have to be able to have the runway in sight.
Here’s a video showing a CAT IIIb into Auckland, New Zealand (NZAA)[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYLKiMkoaW0[/embedyt]
EASA has also formally amended the designation of the aircraft following Airbus’s acquisition of the CS100 and CS300 programmes from Bombardier.
Bombardier had obtained EASA type certificate validation for the CS100 in June 2016 and the CS300 in October 2016.