Garmin International announced today the certification of its Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) LPV approach-capable GPS receiver, the GNS 480. The 480, formerly the Garmin AT CNX80, is achieved by either upgrading an existing CNX80 or via direct purchase as a 480 from Garmin. The 480 retails for $11,995.
The system allows pilots to fly LPV approaches, or localizer-like approaches with vertical guidance, immediately, as well as regular RNAV - or GPS - approaches with VNAV capability, bringing reduced minimums and greater safety to airports not currently served by precision approaches.
At the press conference, AOPA President Phil Boyer called on pilots to start using the system: "This work isn't done," he said, recalling the 15-year process to get WAAS commissioned, which took place in July 2003, and to bring LPV-capable GPS receivers to market. Plus, there is the work ahead to bring LPV approaches to the airports that need them most - those without precision approaches.
Gary Kelley, director of marketing for Garmin, likened it to a "chicken-and-egg situation. Until we get more approaches, the public may not buy [the receivers]," he said. But through a demonstration video taken during an LPV approach and a GPS approach to Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland a couple of weeks ago, AOPA gave evidence of the great benefit already in place: rock-solid, ILS-like approach navigation and a "pseudo glideslope" derived for standard GPS approaches.
October 21, 2004