For most flight department managers, the thought of navigating the maze of FAA rules to fly required navigation performance (RNP) approach procedures is enough to stop them dead in their tracks.
What’s up with WAAS? That’s the question countless business jet pilots have been asking since the FAA announced plans to publish thousands of WAAS LPV (lateral precision with vertical guidance) approaches at U.S. airports while simultaneously making it difficult–or in some cases impossible–for operators to gain approval to fly the procedures.
Garmin last month unveiled the GPSMAP 696, a portable aviation navigation device with a seven-inch portrait screen. The GPSMAP 696 incorporates the features of the GPSMAP 496, while its larger display allows added capabilities such as airways, electronic charts and expanded weather. According to Garmin, the GPSMAP 696 is now available and costs $3,295.
Global Aviation recently installed dual Universal Avionics UNS-1Ew WAAS/SBAS-FMSs in an Astra light jet. This is the first certification approval for the WAAS/SBAS-FMS in an Astra and adds yet another platform for Universal’s WAAS/SBAS-enabled FMSs. The UNS-1Ew installation was approved for 3D-coupled WAAS GPS approaches, including localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) procedures.
How times change. In the 1990s, the Departments of State and Commerce, backed by the Department of Defense and the GPS industry, were busy persuading foreign nations that with GPS available to everyone worldwide, they shouldn’t waste their money launching their own satnav systems. But the genie got out of the bottle anyway.
It’s certainly a comforting feeling, watching the avionics techs remove old black boxes from your airplane and replace them with the latest units on the market. You’ll now enjoy much better performance, vastly improved reliability, great warranty support and the latest technology that money can buy–but not for long.
The number of GPS-based wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) instrument approach procedures in the U.S. has surpassed the number of ILS approaches in the country, according to the FAA. “This is clearly a turning point for aviation and the way pilots navigate,” the agency noted in a statement announcing the milestone.
NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey last month said it incorporated 43 new GPS tracking sites into the continuously operating reference station (CORS) network, including 13 sites established by the FAA as part of its wide area augmentation system (WAAS). Four of the new WAAS sites are located in Alaska, four in Canada and five in Mexico. The network now consists of more than 1,200 sites worldwide.
Innovative Solutions & Support has successfully flown autopilot-coupled lateral precision with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches in the company Pilatus PC-12 and it expects FAA certification in about 60 to 90 days.
Sandel Avionics is adding new WAAS approach annunciations to its 4-ATI electronic primary navigation display, the SN4500, with a software update available next month. The Vista, Calif. manufacturer of plug-and-play EFIS replacements for legacy electromechanical attitude-director and horizontal situation indicators said the SN4500 will then annunciate the type of WAAS approach that is armed.