Horizon Air has received FAA approval to fly instrument approaches to required navigation performance (RNP) 0.1 standards in its Bombardier Q400s equipped with Universal Avionics UNS-1Ew flight management systems. The UNS-1Ew Waas/SBAS FMS enables Horizon pilots to fly stable 3-D flight paths to touchdown at airports in the Northwest U.S. that have published RNP approaches, but now to lower RNP 0.1 minimums. Compared to traditional but non-RNP approaches, the RNP approaches have been shown to save time and fuel.
Gulfstream Aerospace’s enhanced vision system (EVS) II and head-up display (HUD) II for the G280 are now FAA certified, the company announced late last week. Combined, the systems–which are integrated with the G280’s Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion-based PlaneView280 avionics–allow pilots to see terrain, runways, taxiways and possible obstructions in low-visibility conditions.
Chicago Rockford International Airport (KRFD)–65 miles west of Chicago O’Hare International Airport–has released guidelines for aircraft arriving for practice instrument approaches at the nine satellite airports controlled by Rockford approach control. Rockford officials remind pilots that approach control provides practice-approach separation and sequencing only when workload permits it, and then only as far as the final approach fix.
The FAA has published details outlining new procedures for air traffic controllers conducting simultaneous approaches to offset parallel runways (SOIA) at airports separated laterally by less than 3,000 feet, such as San Francisco International (SFO).
A new set of FAA regulations signals the agency’s intent to make installation of an enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) far more worthwhile and less burdensome, with new capabilities such as flight to touchdown in below-minimums visibilities, dispatch to below-minimums airports for commercial operators and a framework for certification that eliminates the need for special conditions.
If ever there was a Comeback Kid in avionics, it would have to be the FAA’s wide area augmentation system (Waas). Heralded by the agency in 1994 as the future Swiss Army knife of navigation, Waas was going to bring greater accuracy and enhanced reliability to the sometimes unpredictable GPS and, in so doing, promised a new era where satellites would replace not only the nation’s NDBs and VORs, but also the more than 600 Category 1 ILS installations in the National Airspace System at the time. Development would cost more than $300 million, and take about four years.
Rockwell Collins has won separate contracts from China’s Xiamen Airlines and China Southern Airlines involving several of its avionics systems, including its Multi-Scan Threat Detection Radar and GLU-925 Multi-Mode Receiver (MMR).
The FAA has released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would allow many more operators to continue flying below decision altitude/decision height or minimum descent altitude (DA/DH or MDA) during IMC when equipped with enhanced flight vision systems (EFVS). Such systems generally use infrared sensors to deliver real-time images of the external view to cockpit displays, and the new rules would not apply to synthetic vision systems. Millimeter-wave radar could also be used for future EFVS operations.
An AINSafety story published last year demonstrated that a relatively straightforward GPS approach can be fraught with danger even when pilots precisely follow the instrument approach plate. Our editors began thinking about what readers might regard as their most challenging instrument approaches.
Miami Approach Control recently reissued guidance on how it plans to handle practice instrument approach requests for aircraft in the local area. For example, standard IFR separation will be applied to all aircraft. Aircraft requesting a procedure turn or a traditional holding pattern are expected to inform the approach controller on initial contact. The facility also reminds pilots that clearance for an approach does not authorize the aircraft to fly the published missed approach without previous authorization.