The market for inexpensive portable ADS-B receivers that deliver free in-flight data to Apple iPads and other devices is heating up. Boston-based Radenna pioneered this market with the original SkyRadar unit, which communicates wirelessly with the iPad, providing a means to receive free in-flight weather and traffic data from the growing ADS-B ground station network.
Wide Area Augmentation System
EU-funded project Accepta is co-funding the publishing of Egnos (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System) landing procedures and/or installing its navigation equipment at 40 additional airports in 11 European countries by the end of 2013. The countries soon to get the system at their airports include Finland, France, Italy, UK, Austria and Spain. Egnos, Europe’s equivalent of Waas GPS, has many benefits including operational, economic (especially for business aviation), safety and environmental, said the company.
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.
It’s clear that the final release of the FAA’s Authorization Act has given a new fillip to the agency’s NextGen implementation activity. The 2012 Plan, released in March, has a much more upbeat flavor than its 2011 predecessor, which essentially looked backwards at accomplishments in 2010, when most activities were still in their early stages. Back then, the potential future benefits of NextGen were just that–potential.
Nextant Aerospace is several STCs closer to receiving EASA certification for its remanufactured Beechjet 400A and XT models. The company’s 400XT has already received FAA certification. Two of the supplemental type certificates cover several major operational areas, including Class A terrain awareness and warning systems (Taws) as well as a wide area augmentation system (Waas). Other STCs cover a number of in-flight entertainment options. Earlier deliveries already included the equipment necessary for certification.
Bombardier’s first Global 6000 with the Global Vision flight deck was delivered during a ceremony on March 31 and shown publicly for the first time at the NBAA Regional Forum at Van Nuys Airport in Southern California on Thursday. The operator of the new Global 6000 is Wideworld Services.
Universal Avionics is still offering an upgrade program for the UNS-1M/1Msp FMS to the reconditioned UNS-1E/1Esp, but the reconditioned units are expected to run out by year-end, according to a company spokeswoman. While the UNS-1E/1Esp are not Waas/SBAS-enabled, “they do offer an alternative solution to a more complex upgrade for UNS-1M/1Msp operators, she explained. A new UNS-1Ew with Waas is an alternative upgrade for the UNS-1M, and Universal is offering a $20,000 credit toward suggested list price through December 31.
At the FAA, some say, program management has traditionally been an oxymoron. Several past and current programs attest to that assessment, one of them being NextGen’s En Route Advanced Modernization (Eram) system, which faces significant delays and cost overruns. Delivery of that system’s upgrade could now slip from 2010 to 2016, and its costs go from $2.15 billion to $2.65 billion.
Auburn University has selected Southeast Aerospace, of Melbourne, Fla., to develop an ADS-B STC for the Cessna 172S, which will also include an approved model list (AML) STC for ADS-B installations in a variety of similar aircraft models. The Auburn installation includes FreeFlight’s Rangr ADS-B out system, which is a 978 MHz UAT (universal access transceiver) solution. The system includes the FreeFlight FDL-978-TX Rangr UAT, TC-987 control head, RF decoder, 1201 GPS/Waas receiver, two L-band antennas and a GPS/Waas antenna.
Eleven of 30 FAA ATC modernization programs reviewed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) have exceeded their initial cost estimates by a total of $4.2 billion, and half have experienced delays.