NBAA helped to pioneer the transition to GPS-based flight decks and procedures, and now the group is taking a leading role to voice the U.S. civil aviation community’s concern about LightSquared’s threat to GPS.
With demonstrated benefits of reducing track miles, mitigating noise and lowering fuel burn and emissions, performance-based navigation (PBN) procedures are being adopted on a worldwide basis. But 15 years after Alaska Airlines flew the first procedures, widespread implementation of PBN is uneven and its benefits largely unrealized.
Clearly impatient with the way the company’s plan for its nationwide broadband Internet project is becoming further and further delayed by opposition from the GPS user community, several federal government departments, members of Congress and, reportedly, within the FCC bureaucracy itself, a LightSquared
The Coalition to ‘Save Our GPS,’ through vice president and general counsel Jim Kirkland of founding member Trimble, has responded to claims by LightSquared, which is seeking approval for a terrestrial broadband communication service in a frequency spectrum very close to that of GPS.
LightSquared signed an agreement yesterday with Javad GNSS to develop a system that it claims will eliminate related interference issues between LightSquared’s planned 4G broadband network transmitters and high-precision GPS devices.
With less than 30 days until the 2011 NBAA Convention takes place in Las Vegas, NBAA announced yesterday an “outstanding” lineup of featured speakers at the opening general session at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, October 10. This list includes Sen. Joseph Manchin III (D-W.Va.); FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt; NTSB chairwoman Deborah Hersman; John Deere Agricultural and Turf division president Dave Everitt; and doctor, pilot and former U.S.
The FAA does not want pilots to use Apple’s iPad tablet computer for navigation. Yet pilots are using the iPad and the many moving-map applications available for the device to navigate and view approach plates, Sids and Stars, en route and sectional charts, aircraft documents and a lot more.
“The effects of LightSquared deployment would be far-reaching and potentially devastating to aviation,” the FAA wrote to the President’s Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) group in a report that was recently leaked to the media.
Low-powered incoming GPS signals are allocated 1559-1610 MHz in the L-Band radio spectrum. The neighboring spectrum–from 1525-1559 Mhz–is allocated to other, equally low-powered, incoming satellite signals, such as Sky Terra’s. GPS receivers are open to signals above the blue line shown, but filter out signals below it, and require modification to accept Glonass.
Advances in avionics don’t negate the need for old standbys such as a handheld transceiver for use in the unlikely event your digital panel goes dark, or simply to pick up Atis or a clearance before engine start. Sporty’s Pilot Shop’s handheld SP-400 navcom makes a worthy backup, providing more nav information than other navcoms in a package little larger than transceivers that offer only com functions.