That title would have been more timely 10 years ago during the famous Budweiser campaign, but I couldn’t resist…
Have you been hearing about WAAS GPS systems, and wondering how they might affect your flying? Is it worth the extra money for WAAS? Should I convert my non-WAAS GPS to have WAAs capability? What is WAAS?
The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) was developed by the Federal Aviation Administration to better integrate GPS technology with the mainstream aspects of flight operations. Operating through specialized relay stations on the ground, WAAS adds self-correcting measures to remedy disruptions and errors that may occur with GPS satellite data. When the system detects a problem, it will intercept the satellite communication and send the correct information to the cockpit within six seconds. Therefore, it makes aviation GPS systems more precise and reliable – and with reliability comes new functionality. Pilots with WAAS equipped avionics can now fly enhanced precision GPS-based approaches, as well as other GPS guided procedures, such as go-arounds, and they can be assured that the information presented to them throughout the flight is completely accurate. WAAS operates using the same frequencies as GPS, however not all GPS units are capable of WAAS utilization. Most new GPS models on the market today, such as the Garmin GNS 430, are offered with WAAS, but older systems may require modification or replacement to take advantage of this modern technology.
WAAS is quickly becoming a world standard, with equivalent systems being developed in the European Union, India, and Japan, and over time it will be available not just for airplanes, but for other vehicles as well. The world of modern navigation is continually expanding.
Visit the FAA’s website here to learn more about WAAS: LINK HERE
Thanks, AK, for putting this post together. The ELITE product line includes devices and software that allow pilots to learn how to shoot WAAS-enabled GPS approaches to airports throughout the world. Visit our website or give us a call to learn more.