November 4, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
It’s been a good run for the Garmin GNS 430-530 line of navigation products, but with technology moving onward, the time has come to discontinue them, the manufacturer said in a Nov. 1 announcement.
Garmin said that it will “discontinue production of the GNS 530W navigator beginning November 30, 2011. While the GNS 430W series product is still available, Garmin anticipates this product will be discontinued in the first half of 2012.”
The company pledged support of the product lines “for years to come.” Owners will not have to change any maintenance or repair arrangements, and software updates will continue for the foreseeable future, said company spokeswoman Mika Cohn in an interview. First introduced in 1998 and 1999, the two popular lines of navigators found their way into hundreds of thousands of aircraft, in effect ushering in “the glass cockpit era for general aviation aircraft,” Garmin said.
In 2007, upgrades became available allowing pilots to fly Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) approaches. GNS 530 options included terrain awareness capability.
“The WAAS-certified GNS 530W and its slightly smaller sibling, GNS 430W, lead the industry with multitasking, integrated avionics and cutting-edge WAAS navigation,” Garmin said in a newsletter at that time.
In its Nov. 1 announcement, Garmin said that the news of the product discontinuance “comes as no surprise to the avionics world after the company recently introduced the next generation GTN600 and GTN700 series touch screen navigators.”
It added, “Those who are happy with their 530s and 430s can continue to use them for the foreseeable future.”
Cohn said that no specific end-date for product support has been determined, except that it will be a number of years before parts availability begins to shape future service needs.
In the meantime, “everything will remain the same,” she said.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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