Best equipped best served—new regs and flightdeck technology for NextGen
RNP SAAAR, operational credits for EFVS with HUDs bring real value for corporate aviation.
FAA incentives for flightdeck equipment
“Best equipped best served” now encompasses all phases of flight from arrivals to the approach segment and landing with EFVS. FAA is planning on approvals for Part 135 operators equipped with EFVS to begin the approach 1000 ft RVR.
As part of the NextGen plan, FAA’s aggressive, almost frenetic pace of developing and approving WAAS approaches has now exceeded the number of ILS approaches. FAA’s 2010 business plan states that through FY2013 the agency plans on producing 300 RNP and RNP SAAAR approach procedures.
For many bizjets, FMS and GPS integration has been part of the flightdeck for some time. What’s new is the progressive improvements in technical capability, certified accuracy and FAA approvals to use the technology. FAA has put into place Advisory Circular 90-101, which states that operators have to get approvals to fly the RNP SAAAR approach procedures.
The approval process for RNP SAAAR may look like a full-time job. There are, thankfully, turnkey company solutions that can be tailored to an individual flight department operation. RNP SAAAR approaches have been developed for many bizjet airports including RNO (Intl, Reno NV), SUN (Hailey ID) and TEB (Teterboro NJ).
Honeywell offers the Go Direct program, and states that you can “unlock your aircraft capabilities for RNP operations.” Honeywell is offering the use of its own company expertise to wade through the required paperwork and system performance assessment of your aircraft. This type of service is worth a look because all the answers are in one place.
The Honeywell service includes operational approvals, navigation validation and a required monitoring program. The Go Direct program was certified on the company’s corporate aircraft, and was also the first Part 91 operator to receive FAA authorization to perform RNP SAAAR operations.
Honeywell PlaneView with Kollsman EVS II display showing taxi operations. Honeywell is also currently working on the integration of EFVS sensors into its SmartView SVS to achieve operational credit similar to aircraft operating with HUD and EFVS systems.
In addition to the RNP SAAAR approval support, Honeywell is helping operators get their FANS 1/A LOA. Honeywell’s recent line of system upgrades is available for its Epic line for PlaneView and will be available for EASy next year.
The software upgrade for example with Gulfstream aircraft includes WAAS-LPV, FANS 1/A, RNP of 0.1, FMS v7.1, XM Graphical Weather and paperless charts and SV-PFD 2.0. In addition, Honeywell has developed an all-new FMS designed to meet the rigorous standards of NextGen. Entering service on several platforms in 2011 and 2012, this FMS will be standard on the Gulfstream G650.
Honeywell is currently contracted with FAA on multiple ADS-B programs covering surface traffic indicating and alerting as well as in-trail procedures. Naverus is another ready source for support and consultation, approach design, and maintenance of documents and procedures.
The company was started by Alaska Airlines Capt Steve Fulton in 2003, and was recently given approval by FAA to design and validate RNP flightpaths for public use in the US. The Sep 2009 announcement by the company stated, “The authorization allows Naverus to develop for public use many of the emissions-reducing, fuel-saving PBN approach procedures that are at the core of FAA’s NextGen airspace modernization effort in the US.”
GE bought Naverus in Nov 2009, and should be a close fit with the company’s avionics and air traffic management service solutions. For those who have lost track, Smiths Industries, a long time supplier of FMS, was also bought by GE, and the combination of GE and Naverus will most likely become a power player in the RNP game.
In the development of navigation procedures, a curious shift from government only to commercial solutions, there may be a lot of new places accessible because of these new public use approaches.
Jeppesen is also a player in the RNP SAAAR business, and was approved by FAA to design, flight validate and maintain public RNP SAAAR procedures in the US. This was announced in Sep 2009. The first Jeppesen designed public RNP procedure was for Runway 28 at SAV for NetJets. Jeppesen also offers turnkey RNP solutions including AC 90-101 consulting, RNP and RNAV flight procedure design.
New HUD performance value
An example of OEM developments in “Best equipped best served” systems—the new Gulfstream G650 flightdeck equipped with EFVS, HUD II, PlaneView with SV-PFD2, along with advances in WAAS-LPV, FANS 1/A, RNP 0.1, XM Graphical Weather and paperless charts.
The FAA work is also focused on how to squeeze more out of existing technology. Another recent reduction in landing minimums has been developed for HUDs. FAA’s AFS 400 effort led by former airline Capt Coby Johnson identified a host of Cat I airports that actually use Cat II/III ILS transmitters.
These selected airports have the ILS beam accuracy of a Cat II/III beam, but lack the airport light structure and redundant ILS transmitters. However AFS 400 concluded that the combination of beam accuracy and flying a HUD was worth something more than standard minimums.
Work at their simulator facilities in OKC, and with help from Rockwell Collins and the airlines, FAA approved the use of HUDs under Order 8400.13D for operations to 150DA/DH and 1400 ft RVR for a specified list of Cat I airports. An open secret to those who fly a HUD is the display’s ability to enable manually flown excellence in airmanship.
Use of a conformal or real world symbol known as flightpath vector (FPV) used to fly the flight director rather than pitched based symbology improves significantly the ability of a pilot to fly the guidance. In fact the performance of a HUD as an alternative to autoland was first certified for older airline fleets beginning in the late 1980s by Flight Dynamics, now Rockwell Collins.
Dassault was the first corporate aircraft adopter of HUD technology for landing utilizing Rockwell Collins HGS HUD products. The industry and FAA have been stalking more credits for HUDs for a few years, and the most recent credit is a clear winner.