The FAA is proposing numerous revisions to IFR flying to reflect the technological advances intended to “facilitate the transition from ground-based navigation to new reference sources,” principally GPS. For example, the middle marker would be dropped as a required component of the ILS.
Rockwell Collins has gained the first-ever TSO approval for a multi-mode receiver with microwave landing system (MLS) capability. Besides MLS, the receiver integrates VOR, ILS, marker beacon and GPS. Cat III MLS approaches are in use at a handful of European airports, most notably London Heathrow. The precision navigation concept has also been adopted by the military for set-up of “portable” precision approaches anywhere in the world.
Old timers may remember ATC requests to report the “middle marker inbound.” But it’s been such a long time since they have been an integral part of an ILS (in 1992 landing penalties were removed for inoperative middle markers) that the FAA has proposed to officially drop the middle marker as a required component of the approach.
Contrary to FAA-recommended national standards, a housing contractor was successful in changing zoning regulations in Oxford, Conn., and will be allowed to build within Waterbury-Oxford Airport’s 65-decibel noise contour. With its ILS-equipped 5,000- by 100-foot runway and contract-operated control tower, Waterbury-Oxford (OXC) has gained increasing favor as a business aircraft base and is home to a growing number of business jets.