Federal agencies are asking for the public’s help to decide if there is a need to continue to operate or invest in the loran-C radio navigation system beyond Fiscal Year 2007 (which ends September 30). While the current loran-C system is based on technology developed in the 1960s, some of the stations have been updated to allow for an enhanced signal (eLoran).
While ILS Cat I equivalency has been on FAA’s wide-area augmentation system agenda for many years, the agency’s recent announcement that it is lowering WAAS minimums was actually the starting gun for several activities required before private aircraft can execute 200-foot approaches beginning in mid-2007.
The probable cause of the Nov. 22, 2004 crash of a Gulfstream III during an attempted ILS Runway 4 approach to William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, according to the NTSB, “was the flight crew’s failure to adequately monitor and cross-check the flight instruments during the approach.
The French ministries of transport and defense have planned a global navigation satellite system (GNSS)/Loran C user information day on July 1 in Paris. “The information day is open to any person who has an activity related to the use of positioning or timing/synchronization information,” said the organizers. Focus will be on Loran C as a complement of GNSS.
Boeing’s delivery in May of a 737-800 airliner certified for the global navigation satellite landing system (GLS) marked the culmination of a 10-year development effort. It also served as a reminder that the ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) still has a future, despite a U.S.
Like the proverbial cat with nine lives, loran has once more rebounded from attempts on its life. Loran has always been owned and operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, which since the late 1990s has been trying to close down the system. Congress has consistently demurred and has each year put continuing operating funds for loran back into the agency’s budget.
The NTSB’s analysis of the Nov. 22, 2004, crash of a Business Jet Services Gulfstream III suggests that the pilots might have followed the fast/slow indicator on the left side of their EADIs instead of the glideslope on the right. On the way to pick up former President George H.W. Bush, the aircraft crashed into a light pole more than three miles southwest of Houston’s Hobby Airport while attempting to shoot the ILS Runway 4 approach.
Dramatic reductions in approach minimums at terrain-challenged airports are among the more spectacular results of applying RNP-Rnav. But more widespread benefits are promised when procedures based on the capabilities of modern aircraft supersede those that tie the airplanes to expensive ground navigational aids.
The vision of a future air navigation system developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) at the beginning of the 1990s has taken a long time to materialize. But the gradual execution of some of the main elements suggests the future may finally be at hand.
Owners of older Honeywell GNS-X flight management systems have until the end of the month to take advantage of special pricing on new GNS-XLS units, the maker announced here yesterday. Buyers who take advantage of the promotional offer will receive a $3,000 discount off the price of a new GNS-XLS FMS, as well as free software that introduces the latest worldwide navigation capabilities to the unit, according to the company.