Garmin International has received the first certification of a GPS wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) receiver providing instrument landing system (ILS) -like precision approach capability. The panel-mounted receiver has been approved for installation on more than 700 general aviation aircraft types.

The Garmin GNS 480 - formerly the UPS-AT GNX80 - is the first GPS WAAS receiver to earn Gamma-3 certification under the US Federal Aviation Administration's technical standard order C146a. This enables pilots to fly ILS-like localiser-precision with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches.

Garmin says its GNS 480 is the first WAAS navigator approved to fly the LPV approach procedures now being deployed by the FAA. WAAS is already approved for non-precision approaches with vertical guidance. The agency says there are 300 runways in the USA where WAAS approaches are available down to 350ft (107m) and 39 with approaches available down to 250ft.

FAA administrator Marion Blakey has told general aviation pilots to use WAAS or risk losing it. The satellite-based GPS augmentation system was declared operational in July last year.

Source: Flight International