A solar flare 10 times stronger than anything researchers had previously observed or predicted surprised scientists last December, not only because of its size and strength, but because of the effect it had on GPS receivers and other communications systems. Now scientists are looking at previous data and trying to understand how these flares affect satellite signals, in the hope that they can one day prevent further disruptions.
One of Eurocontrol’s senior navigation managers says the business aviation community should be acting now to prepare for the introduction of the EGNOS (European geostationary navigation overlay service) augmented satellite approach and landing system.
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.
The EBACE conference program will today focus on the Single European Sky program and what it will mean for business aircraft operators. The session, to be held from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Hall 7 Salon 1 will be moderated by Bo Redeborn, Eurocontrol’s director of ATM (air traffic management) strategies. He will be joined by guest speakers Steve Zerkowitz of ATM consultancy BluSky Services and Serge Lebourg from Dassault Aviation.
Cessna last month was close to certifying a software update for the Citation Mustang’s G1000 avionics system after avionics maker Garmin in February uncovered a programming glitch. The problem is causing course deviation errors and a loss of some navigation cues on the map display when the pilot attempts to load a new arrival or departure procedure without deleting a previously loaded procedure.
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.
Starting today, 216 NDB approaches will be decommissioned. Although the FAA has yet to actually switch them off the air, the decommissioned NDB stations will no longer be flight-checked, maintained, approved for use or shown on updated charts, according to AOPA. “The FAA decommissioned them after careful coordination with AOPA and the aviation community,” said Randy Kenagy, AOPA director of advanced technology.
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.