We often think of the FAA as a cumbersome organization that usually–but not always–gets the job done, often in its own sweet time. But with its Waas space-based augmentation system (Sbas) program, the agency has shown it can also move quickly.
The Chicago Area Business Aviation Association’s ATC Executive Committee said last week that its regular sessions with the FAA’s local airspace and air traffic division personnel are again ready to bear fruit. A CABAA spokesman said the pieces are in place to release a number of new RNAV departures from Chicago-area satellite airports specifically designed for general and business aviation aircraft some time next year.
The second greatest shock to pilot Jim Huddleston and his co-captain after their Learjet 45 struck some trees during a night approach at Saratoga Springs (5B2) in July 2008 was that an almost obscure gray arrow symbol on the GPS Runway 5 approach plate apparently did not live up to expectations.
Effective September 17, the FAA will implement new phraseology for aircraft departing via an Rnav SID at airports using simultaneous parallel-runway departures. Towers will now include the first SID waypoint in the takeoff clearance. For example, “Falcon 2GP, Rnav to (fix/waypoint), Runway 32 Left, cleared for takeoff.” The new procedure was designed to ensure crews have the correct procedure loaded in the aircraft’s FMS.
The FAA plans to decommission the remaining 29 direction finders (DF) in Alaska unless the aviation industry raises specific objections. DF, first used before World War II, performs one simple function: telling its operator which direction a transmitted radio signal is strongest. A skilled DF operator could pinpoint the location of a lost aircraft. DF steers, as they’re called, have saved thousands of lives over the past 80 years. But now, replaced by more accurate technologies such as GPS and ADS-B, DF is seldom used.
While the Iranian capture of the Sentinel caught public attention, it also allowed researchers to show that spoofing technology has been, and continues to be, closely investigated by a number of military and civilian facilities in the United States.
Broomfield, Colo.-based JetTech announced yesterday that it received FAA STC approval to install touchscreen Garmin GTN 650/750 GPS navcoms on 500-series Cessna Citations, to include the 500, 501, 550, 551, S550 and 560. The approval covers installation of the GPS navcoms, as well as Garmin GTX 33 transponders, remote GMA35 audio panels and GA35/37 antennas. In addition, the STC includes Waas approvals.
The weather at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. on the night of July 13, 2008 was 1,100 overcast, one-and-a-half miles visibility with moderate rain, and wind calm. Albany approach control vectored us for a GPS approach to Runway 5. We intercepted the inbound course toward the airport.
Esterline CMC Electronics has been selected to equip four Australian airExpress Boeing 737s with CMA-5024 IntegriFlight GPS landing system sensors. Qantas’s engineering department is performing the installation for the cargo airline.
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.