Lingering technical issues are forcing Garmin to delay plans for upgraded WAAS capability in the company's GNS 430/530 and GPS 400/500 panel-mount avionics, according to a spokesman. Explaining that the upgrades will require "a major software rewrite" in addition to minor hardware changes, the spokesman indicated that the capability is now not expected to be available before next year's third quarter.
Global Positioning System
European taxpayers will shell out €2.4 billion ($3.25 billion) up front if a European Commission proposal that it assume control of the Galileo navigation program is approved. The executive body of the European Union announced its intentions after a consortium of eight private aerospace and telecom companies missed the May 10 deadline to appoint a CEO and submit plans to operate and maintain the system as a single company.
The obstacle clearance panel (OCP), a group of experts in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is designing more suitable IFR procedures for helicopters, taking advantage of new navigation equipment. Under the proposed rules, scheduled to take effect in the fall of next year, precision guidance on low-level routes to so-called points in space will become common.
AIN was informed that the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security were expected to announce jointly late last month that the U.S. loran transmitter network will continue in operation. How long the system will remain in service is uncertain, but observers believe it could be 10 years, and possibly longer. An independent panel of experts– chaired by “father of GPS” Dr.
Mercury Computer Systems introduced two new class II-qualified electronic flight bag (EFB) systems targeting operators of larger aircraft. Mercury’s original VistaNav EFB class-I CIS-1000 is a tablet PC offering a 2-D or 3-D synthetic view of the outside world, including highway-in-the-sky approaches. The tablet receives wireless signals from a separate inertial navigation unit housing a WAAS GPS receiver and solid-state gyros.
Jeppesen has assembled a team of engineers to look into complaints by users that the company’s latest electronic charting software, JeppView FlightDeck 3.0, can cause electronic flight bag (EFB) computers to crash without warning. Since April, dozens of business aircraft flight crews have apparently experienced the software glitch, which is said to affect EFB products from a number of suppliers.
Although the decision has not yet been officially announced, AIN has learned the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security have agreed that loran should continue operating for the foreseeable future. Key influences were the unanimous endorsement by an independent panel of experts convened by the agencies, plus the overwhelming positive response to an earlier public survey regarding the system’s continuance.
Shortly after the FAA published an advisory circular aimed at increasing capacity in busy Florida airspace by making changes to Rnav routes, SIDs and STARS, NBAA queried the agency about the apparent technical shortcomings of certain FMS equipment that might disqualify a number of business jet operators from flying the new procedures.
To help business aircraft operators cope with new Rnav routes and procedures as of September 1, the FAA is developing a Web-based RAIM (receiver autonomous integrity monitor) prediction service that will be made available for general use by flight crews, according to NBAA.
Bell Helicopter selected Chelton Flight Systems to provide a glass cockpit for the company’s light single-engine helicopters. The Chelton cockpit will be available from Bell for the Model 407 beginning in the first quarter of 2007. Until then, Bell 407, 206 and 210 owners can upgrade their existing aircraft to synthetic vision through Bell installation facilities or Chelton’s dealer network.