GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM
The FAA’s implementation activities of the Global
Positioning System (GPS) are dedicated to the adaptation
of the NAS infrastructure to accept satellite navigation
(SATNAV) technology through the management
and coordination of a variety of overlapping NAS
implementation projects. These projects fall under the
project areas listed below and represent different elements
of the NAS infrastructure:
To use GPS, WAAS, and/or LAAS in the NAS, equipment
suitable for aviation use (such as a GPS receiver,
WAAS receiver, LAAS receiver, or multi-modal
receiver) must be designed, developed, and certified for
use. To ensure standardization and safety of this equipment,
the FAA plays a key role in the development and
works closely with industry in this process. The avionics
development process results in safe, standardized SATNAV
avionics, developed in concurrence with industry.
Due to the growing popularity of SATNAV and potential
new aviation applications, there are several types of
GPS-based receivers on the market, but only those that
pass through this certification process can be used as
approved navigation equipment under IFR conditions.
Detailed information on GPS approach procedures is
provided in Chapter 5–Approach.
- Avionics Development - includes engineering
support and guidance in the development of
current and future GPS avionics minimum
operational performance standards (MOPS), as
well as FAA Technical Standard Orders (TSOs)
and establishes certification standards for
- Flight Standards - includes activities related to
instrument procedure criteria research, design,
testing, and standards publication. The shift from
ground-based to space-based navigation sources
has markedly shifted the paradigms used in
obstacle clearance determination and standards
development. New GPS-based Terminal
Procedures (TERPS) manuals are in use today as
a result of this effort.
- Air Traffic - includes initiatives related to the
development of GPS routes, phraseology, procedures,
controller GPS training and GPS outage
simulations studies. GPS-based routes, developed
along the East Coast to help congestion in
the Northeast Corridor, direct GPS-based
Caribbean routes, and expansion of RNAV
activities are all results of SATNAV sponsored
- Procedure Development - includes the provision
of instrument procedure development and flight
inspection of GPS-based routes and instrument
procedures. Today over 3,500 GPS-based IAPs
have been developed.
- Interference Identification and Mitigation -
includes the development and fielding of airborne,
ground, and portable interference detection systems.
These efforts are ongoing and critical to
ensuring the safe use of GPS in the NAS.