The recent successful completion of a 60-day continuous performance test of the FAA’s wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) is expected to clear the way for full IFR use of the satellite navigation concept starting late next year. The question now is whether anyone will be able to use it.
Global navigation satellite system
After extensive industry consultation, the FAA has recently completed a document outlining its proposed strategy for transition from today’s terrestrial navaids to GPS, including proposed procedures to minimize the effect of GPS jamming.
Speakers from Eurocontrol and the European Space Agency last month informed attendees at a meeting of the FAA’s Satellite Operational Implementation Team (SOIT) that their organizations would accept liability for system failures when the Galileo satnav system was used in critical applications requiring high-accuracy guidance, such as approach and landing operations.
Just when many thought loran was dead, it is coming back, albeit in a different guise. The President’s recently released FY2009 budget includes funding for the Coast Guard to continue operating the current loran network in readiness for its upgrade in 2009 to enhanced loran (eLoran).
The FAA last month approved GPS wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) LPV instrument approach criteria for helicopters, opening the floodgates for the new lateral precision/vertical guidance procedures at heliports and landing pads across the country.
Airservices Australia and Qantas are working with Honeywell at Sydney Airport to supplement the signals broadcast by global navigation satellite systems. Those systems include the global positioning system that will provide the same level of precision approach guidance as a Category I instrument landing system–that is, to a height of 200 feet above the ground as long as visibility on the airport surface is adequate.
While EGNOS, SBAS, GBAS and Galileo may be unfamiliar to most North American aviators, they are key elements in Europe’s determined move to a satellite air traffic control environment. Addressing the FAA’s satellite operations implementation team meeting in December, Eurocontrol officials reported on progress toward their vision of
The FAA has certified an IFR WAAS receiver developed by UPS Aviation Technologies, the key ingredient in a forthcoming line of satellite navigation equipment from the Salem, Ore. avionics maker.
Last year in Toulouse, France, Eurocopter completed two series of tests that demonstrated the feasibility of satellite-navigation precision approaches for helicopters. Europe, which lags behind the U.S. in creating satnav nonprecision approaches for helicopters, has almost completed some research toward addressing that imbalance.
It took several years for the U.S. and the European Union to reach agreement about satellite navigation systems, but the cooperation agreement the parties signed in June that paves the way for the Galileo and GPS satellite navigation systems should be beneficial to both sides, and to aviation worldwide.