Last month AIN reported on the disturbing increase in reports of GPS interference and deliberate jamming and raised the question of continuing GPS reliability if these incidents (attributable to small portable jammers used by truckers to obfuscate their whereabouts) increase in numbers and transmitted power.
VHF omnidirectional range
The FAA released its final rule on December 15 making the Washington, D.C. air defense identification zone (ADIZ)–which was imposed in February 2003 as a “temporary” flight restriction (TFR) area in the runup to the invasion of Iraq–a permanent fixture. It will go into effect sometime next month.
The Department of Defense is conducting more GPS interference tests in the western U.S. through next month that will cause GPS navigation to be unreliable at times near the test centers, reported AOPA. The areas affected center on the Bonneville (BVL) Vortac in Utah, Truth or Consequences (TCS) Vortac in New Mexico and Sierra Vista Municipal Airport in Arizona.
ISRAEL AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES 1124A, TAOS, N.M., NOV. 8, 2002–The only occupants, both airline transport-rated pilots, of the Westwind were killed when the aircraft crashed on approach to Taos Municipal Airport (SKX). The accident occurred at approximately 2:57 p.m. after the Westwind passed the initial approach fix for the VOR/DME-B approach.
ROCKWELL AERO COMMANDER 690A, CORTEZ, COLO., JAN. 3, 2004–While circling to land at the Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ), Aero Commander 690A N700SR–registered to LT Aire and operated by Air West, both of Mesa, Ariz.–was destroyed when it crashed at 12:12 p.m. The sole-occupant commercial pilot was killed. An IFR flight plan had been filed for the Part 91 positioning trip, which was conducted in IMC.
Released last month, the 2005 Federal Radionavigation Plan (FRP)–a joint production of the DOT, DOD and the Department of Homeland Security–provides a useful guide to what air navigation will be like between now and 2020. Of course, federal crystal balls occasionally can be cloudy, especially when they peer 14 years into the future.
The FAA has begun redesigning high-altitude airspace above FL390, and among the first beneficiaries will be Rnav- and RNP-equipped business jets that routinely operate at those altitudes.