Operators at US provincial airports and airfields will soon be able to use satellite navigation equipment to carry out non-precision approaches for which distance measuring equipment (DME) and automatic direction finders (ADF) are now used.

The Federal Aviation Administration has given notice that it will approve the new procedure in a flight data centre notice to airmen.

Beneficiaries will include US regional and commuter airlines and the general aviation sector. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), which has been pressing since 1995 for approval of global positioning system (GPS) navigation for non-precision approaches on the grounds that its greater accuracy would improve safety, has also expressed its delight at the potential cost savings for general aviation operators. In due course, they will not need to fit DME and ADF systems in their aircraft, says AOPA.

Source: Flight International