WAAS being introduced this month
The FAA plans to start introducing instrument approaches using its Wide Area Augmentation System on July 10, bringing much higher levels of accuracy, signal availability and approach performance to GPS-based satnav. WAAS avionics now entering the market herald the end of today’s “dive and drive” nonprecision approaches, replacing them with two new procedures. Lnav/Vnav (for lateral and vertical navigation) procedures will provide continuous descent guidance to minima of typically between 350 and 400 feet, while the more exacting LPV (localizer precision with vertical guidance) procedure will provide ILS-like guidance to as low as 250 feet at most locations. About 230 Lnav/Vnav approach plates were expected to be published by July 10, with LPV plates becoming available later in the year.