FAA Satellite Navigation System Achieves Program Milestone
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has commissioned its latest satellite navigation system for instrument flight use. The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) enhances the accuracy and reliability of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and transmits horizontal and vertical aircraft guidance capability. This is the first step toward opening pilot access to more than 500 published satellite runway procedures at 200 U.S. airports.
Pending certification of avionics with vertical navigation capabilities and approval of individual approach procedures, pilots will be able to navigate as low as 350 feet above the runway end under instrument flight rules using satellite navigation to provide stable vertical guidance. Later this year, a new procedure will be published for the full capability of WAAS, resulting in approaches down to 250 feet above the runway, the FAA said.