The AgustaWestland GrandNew light twin has been certified to conduct Rnav (area navigation) satellite-based approaches with vertical guidance to LPV (lateral precision with vertical guidance) minimums. It thus can perform approaches at speeds as low as 45 knots and glidepath angles as high as 9 degrees, with ILS-equivalent minimums–without ILS infrastructure. Europe has begun implementing LPV approaches, which are already common in the U.S.
Children’s Hospital New Orleans received approval June 18 for a new helicopter WAAS LPV approach to bring arrivals down to a height above landing (HAL) of 270 feet. The new procedure allowing more precise guidance in poor weather was developed by Orange Beach, Ala.-based Hickok & Associates.
Just when it seemed the LightSquared-GPS contest had run its course, a pair of latecomers–Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.)–wrote to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski proposing that the agency should now find a vacant block of radio spectrum in which LightSquared could launch another attempt at its nationwide Internet plan.
Nextant Aerospace has been awarded several new supplemental type certificates for the 400XT, including STCs for the Rockwell Collins Venue in-flight entertainment system and the Aircell Axxess cabin communication system featuring high-speed wireless Internet connectivity and dual-channel satellite phone service. Nextant also received STCs for additional avionics options, many of which help to pave the way for final certification by the EASA.
Last month AIN reported on the disturbing increase in reports of GPS interference and deliberate jamming and raised the question of continuing GPS reliability if these incidents (attributable to small portable jammers used by truckers to obfuscate their whereabouts) increase in numbers and transmitted power.
The FAA issued an Information for Operators (InFO) bulletin to remind aircraft operators of the potential for erroneous glideslope and/or localizer indications caused by interference from aircraft or equipment moving through ILS critical areas.
GE Aviation and Chile’s LAN Airlines recently conducted the first flight in Latin America using precise performance-based navigation (PBN) procedures from takeoff to landing.
Embraer announced at the Singapore Airshow that it has made substantial interior improvements to the Legacy 600/650 family, which will be available for aircraft produced this year. “Key to this is our effort to reduce cabin sound levels, which set a new benchmark for the Legacy 600 and 650 class of aircraft,” said Embraer Executive Jets president Ernie Edwards.
Rockwell Collins (Booth Q79) has announced that China Eastern Airlines has selected a range of the company’s avionics to equip 50 Airbus A320 aircraft that are on order for delivery later this year. Separately, Hainan Airlines has ordered radars and other equipment for its fleet of 47 new A320s.
The FAA has issued a proposed plan to transition the national airspace system (NAS) to a performance-based navigation system that relies on GPS and “area navigation everywhere and required navigation performance where beneficial,” instead of defining airways, routes and procedures using VORs and other legacy navaids. A minimum operational network of VORs and an “optimized network” of DMEs would be retained, and this drawdown would be complete by Jan. 1, 2020.