Comments are due tomorrow on a request for public input to help federal agencies decide if there is a need to continue to operate or invest in the loran-C radio navigation system beyond FY 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).
A public survey by the DOT and Homeland Security drew more than 900 responses about whether Loran should be kept operational or shut down.
Today pilots who have an inertial navigation system coupled with an advanced GPS aboard their airplanes are considered to be at the upper end of the profession, while the rest of us bumble along with just a plain vanilla GPS–maybe with a WAAS upgrade–and a couple of VORs plus one, maybe two, DMEs. But tomorrow might be different.
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).
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.
AirData, the flight planning specialist, is preparing to launch its new SwiftOps.com online flight planning and crew briefing system this fall. The new software is intended to automate as much of the flight planning process as possible, reducing crew workload during busy operations without compromising the operational control of crews.
Sagem Défense Sécurité will supply avionics for the 322 UH-145 helicopters (plus 30 options) selected by the U.S. Army on June 30. Subsidiary Sagem Avionics will handle equipment integration, final assembly and product support from its facility in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Today’s highly capable glass cockpits certainly put old, round-dial standby instruments in the shade. In many cases, standby training has become almost a chore rather than a necessity. Yet the standbys are always there, ready for us. The question is, are we always ready for them?
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