Jet Aviation St. Louis (formerly Midcoast Aviation) has completed the first wide-area augmentation system (Waas) FMS installation in a Dassault Falcon 2000, and it did it under a basic FAA field approval rather than obtaining a full supplemental type certificate (STC).
The upgrade involved replacing the airplane’s existing Universal Avionics flight management systems with dual Universal UNS-1Ew units approved for localizer performance with vertical (LPV) approach capability. With assistance from Universal Avionics, Jet Aviation was able to obtain an engineering assisted field approval, an FAA certification process that allows the Universal Waas FMS units to be certified for LPV approach capability under the Form 337 field approval process rather than a full STC, which includes submittal of individual “issue papers” describing the work to be performed and considerable downtime.
There are now more than twice as many Waas LPV approaches as ILS procedures in the U.S., yet only a small number of Part 25 business jets can take advantage of the GPS-based landing capability because of complicated STC rules governing avionics installation. While any Cessna 172 equipped with a panel-mount GPS Waas navigator can fly the more than 2,300 LPV procedures in place at airports around the country, most business-jet operators must obtain an STC to match that capability. Until now, that is.
Officials from the FAA and Universal Avionics met a year-and-a-half ago to iron out the details of an agreement to permit installers to add the avionics maker’s Waas-capable FMS units to Part 25 business jets without gaining an STC. Universal was the first avionics manufacturer to obtain TSO C146b approval for a Waas flight management system, and now it becomes the first (and so far only) avionics maker to assist installers in winning LPV approvals in Part 25 aircraft under the less complicated Form 337 process. Because of the simpler installation process, Jet Aviation was able to replace the Falcon 2000’s UNS-1C FMS units with the Waas-capable version of the UNS-1E during normal scheduled maintenance, the company said. The new FMS is approved to fly Rnav (GPS) approach procedures to LPV descent minimums. LPV approach procedures take advantage of the precision of Waas GPS for guidance during the approach segment.