A last-minute change in U.S. loran policy has raised serious concerns among international navigation and security organizations. In late February, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) removed loran-C funding from the President’s budget, provoking an immediate response from the UK.
Satellite navigation systems
While GPS is currently leading the pack in terms of satnav system implementation, at a recent UN International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems conference it was clear that competing systems are getting closer and could overtake it during the next decade. Presentations from Europe, Russia and China described active developments of worldwide satnav constellations, while India and Japan are moving ahead with regional networks.
HEMS operator CareFlite is working with the FAA’s Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) Program Office to help quantify WAAS benefits to HEMS operations.
CareFlite currently has 18 helipad GPS approaches and will begin integrating WAAS into these approach procedures, beginning with four regional trauma centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Accord Technology (Booth No. 520) is promoting its NexNav line of GPS WAAS receiver technology, which supports LP/LPV approaches and new ADS-B standards. A joint venture of Accord Software & Systems of Bangalore, India, and NexGen Avionics, Accord is also announcing appointments of R. Shenoy Manur, CEO; Hal Adams, COO; and Randy Shimon, v-p, engineering and compliance.
Appareo Systems of Fargo, N.D., and Eurocopter plan to unveil today a flight-data monitoring system scheduled to be certified for the AS 350 B2/B3 by the end of this year or in the first quarter of next year. Called Alerts Vision 1000, it is the latest extension of Appareo’s Alerts (aircraft logging and event recording for training and safety) product line.
Eurocontrol might ask the European Commission to use some of the money expected to be saved by the planned decommissioning of VOR and NDB beacons to sponsor the development of avionics that would enable general aviation aircraft to operate in the sort of controlled airspace envisioned by the single European sky air traffic management (ATM) research (Sesar) program.
Global Aviation recently installed dual Universal Avionics UNS-1Ew WAAS/SBAS-FMSs in an Astra light jet. This is the first certification approval for the WAAS/SBAS-FMS in an Astra and adds yet another platform for Universal’s WAAS/SBAS-enabled FMSs. The UNS-1Ew installation was approved for 3D-coupled WAAS GPS approaches, including localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) procedures.
How times change. In the 1990s, the Departments of State and Commerce, backed by the Department of Defense and the GPS industry, were busy persuading foreign nations that with GPS available to everyone worldwide, they shouldn’t waste their money launching their own satnav systems. But the genie got out of the bottle anyway.
It’s certainly a comforting feeling, watching the avionics techs remove old black boxes from your airplane and replace them with the latest units on the market. You’ll now enjoy much better performance, vastly improved reliability, great warranty support and the latest technology that money can buy–but not for long.
NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey last month said it incorporated 43 new GPS tracking sites into the continuously operating reference station (CORS) network, including 13 sites established by the FAA as part of its wide area augmentation system (WAAS). Four of the new WAAS sites are located in Alaska, four in Canada and five in Mexico. The network now consists of more than 1,200 sites worldwide.