MEMBER ALERT: AOPA Pilot Information Center and Member Services will be closed today, Dec. 12, after 2:30 p.m. Eastern, and will reopen Dec. 13 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Thank you for your understanding.
September 29, 2005
When a new GPS satellite was launched on Sunday, some AOPA members wondered what it means for general aviation. The answer: GPS navigation will be around for a long time to come.
The new satellite replaces an aging bird that's nearing the end of its useful life, ensuring that the GPS signal will continue to be available even as some older satellites are taken off line.
"The latest launch represents a firm commitment to satellite navigation and demonstrates that there will be plenty of assets in space to ensure that the GPS signal is always available," said Randy Kenagy, AOPA senior director of advanced technology. "That's especially important for general aviation as more GPS-based wide area augmentation system (WAAS) approaches are created." WAAS approaches allow for ILS-like minima without the expensive ground-based equipment.
There are already several "hot spare" satellites on orbit should a GPS signal fail, and GPS availability is not a concern at this time.
The Air Force expects to launch an average of three new GPS satellites each year to replace older equipment.
September 29, 2005
Aircraft and Avionics,
Advocacy and Legislation,
Pilot Safety and Skills
AOPA is looking to the Michigan Senate for “refinement” of proposals amended unfavorably in last-minute House action.
The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act would allow pilots to use the driver’s license medical standard for noncommercial VFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with no more than six seats, as long as they carry five or fewer passengers, fly below 14,000 feet msl, and fly no faster than 250 knots.
The Civil Aviation Medical Association is objecting to the FAA's proposed sleep apnea policy, warning that the evidence doesn't justify the approach.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.