One of the pleasures of attending the many aviation trade shows on our annual to-do list is the opportunity to see new aircraft, products and people. I’m sure many of the “new” exhibitors that I run across every year have probably been exhibiting for years and I just haven’t noticed them, but it’s still fun to meet new people, like Maxim Antonov of Avioconversiya (no relation to the Russian aircraft designer).
NBAA helped to pioneer the transition to GPS-based flight decks and procedures, and now the group is taking a leading role to voice the U.S. civil aviation community’s concern about LightSquared’s threat to GPS.
With demonstrated benefits of reducing track miles, mitigating noise and lowering fuel burn and emissions, performance-based navigation (PBN) procedures are being adopted on a worldwide basis. But 15 years after Alaska Airlines flew the first procedures, widespread implementation of PBN is uneven and its benefits largely unrealized.
After LightSquared made statements that it has a “legal right” to build a network of terrestrial 4G broadband transmitters in the U.S., the Coalition to Save Our GPS last Thursday stepped up its attack of the company’s plans.
Clearly impatient with the way the company’s plan for its nationwide broadband Internet project is becoming further and further delayed by opposition from the GPS user community, several federal government departments, members of Congress and, reportedly, within the FCC bureaucracy itself, a LightSquared
Honeywell, the only U.S. company to be chosen as an original member of the Sesar Joint Undertaking tasked with developing technologies for post-2020 air traffic management in Europe, demonstrated work in progress at its research center in the Czech city of Brno last week. One project is an initial four-dimensional (I4-D) trajectory planning system involving the flight management system (FMS) and communications management unit.
The Coalition to ‘Save Our GPS,’ through vice president and general counsel Jim Kirkland of founding member Trimble, has responded to claims by LightSquared, which is seeking approval for a terrestrial broadband communication service in a frequency spectrum very close to that of GPS.
Million Air Dallas completed the validation flight requirements to obtain authority to conduct RNP-AR (formally SAAAR) approaches in its Gulfstream G450. The Dallas FBO developed its own RNP-AR program without the help of any consultants, it added.
Can GPS and LightSquared coexist? Within the civil and military GPS community, the answer has been emphatically and unequivocally, “No.” Until last week, that is. Attendees at the annual convention of the U.S. Institute of Navigation held in Portland, Ore., had been confident that the laws of physics made coexistence of the two impossible.
Southwest Airlines’ ambitious fleetwide implementation of required navigation performance (RNP) operations is making slow progress. Since initiating flights in January using the precision approach procedures to save track miles and fuel, the airline’s use of RNP represents just 1 percent of its daily operations, said Capt. David Newton, Southwest senior manager of airspace.