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Decommissioning plans for NDB VOR & especially ILS across Europe

I think the concept that GPS is a purely military system may well have been true in the past, but GPS is inextricably woven into US civilian life, including aviation, and the idea that some general could just switch it off is not realistic.

Even the US government say that it is a jointly controlled system. See THIS

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

What is the situation with certified avionics and Glonass / Galileo?

Do any of the certified boxes work with these extra constellations?

I think it is complete madness to make the infrastructure of a whole continent dependent on a system that is owned by the military of a foreign state.

That debate probably comes down to the chances of the USA shutting down its GPS but Galileo and Glonass not getting shut down. I think that’s very unlikely.

If e.g. there was an attack on the USA and they shut down the civilian signal, Europe would be requested to shut down Galileo too, and if they didn’t the USA would (rightly) destroy the Galileo satellites. I am 100% certain there is a covert US-Europe deal on this. And I suspect Russia would co-operate too – unless of course they were the attacker

But if Russia was doing an attack, civilian flying would not be one’s #1 priority… GA got shut down at the start of WW2 and the same would happen.

So I think from the GA perspective this is not a big issue, and from the airline perspective they have INS (with DME fixups) for enroute RNAV and I am sure ILS will be retained at most places especially as there is no CAT3 LPV etc.

The dismantling of ILS is taking place where there is not enough CAT revenue. Le Touquet is on the list because there is no CAT going in there, and the weekend lunch flyers mostly don’t go in less than OVC020, and the determined ones will either have LPV or will scud run, which is always an option at a coastal airport.

What we are seeing here is the approaching end of the French unmonitored money throwing state funding of low usage airports. It was bound to happen eventually because when you go to say Dinard (and get the bill literally a year later) or go to Bergerac (and there is no way to pay on weekends, or weekdays after 5pm, and one could probably operate there 365 days a year for free so long as your movements were during the right times) you realise that the people who run these places could not give a **** about finances because the “local chamber of commerce will always find the few million € a year”. Well, that was OK until their economy started to go on the skids. You can live on the p1ss only until somebody sober wakes up and puts a stop to it. Sad really that we have probably seen times which won’t be seen again, because what is next is the closure of a lot of airports.

We had the same at my base. The then “manager” spent £300k on a fire engine, etc. Eventually the local council found out and went berserk, and sold the airport to a load of asset strippers.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Neil wrote:

I think the concept that GPS is a purely military system may well have been true in the past, but GPS is inextricably woven into US civilian life, including aviation, and the idea that some general could just switch it off is not realistic.

Well, the US did ground all air traffic in US airspace after 9/11, so I don’t think they’d be above turning off GPS (or at least the civil signals) in a similar situation.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Airborne_Again wrote:

Well, the US did ground all air traffic in US airspace after 9/11, so I don’t think they’d be above turning off GPS (or at least the civil signals) in a similar situation.

They did not switch it off then. Which actually was astonishing for a while, but then you have to consider that a lot of their civil search and rescue e.t.c. also depend on it. I think we can honestly put the idea to bed that it will ever be switched off. IF a situation arises which would warrant that, GA would be the least of our concerns I believe….

LSZH, Switzerland

GPS is integral to a vast number of industries and applications….aviation only being a very small percentage of users….shutting down GPS even for a few hours would create global havoc…

YPJT, United Arab Emirates

Peter wrote:

Why would one need “W” for enroute?

What I noticed when I upgraded my 430 to “W” is that there is MUCH more than the “simple” WAAS capability involved. The WAAS unit is a much better box, much faster, more capability, in general I consider the upgrade very much worthwile. And whoever asks right now about putting a non-wass GNS into their airplanes as a cheap 8.33 radio/better GPS, I’ll tell them to look for a WAAS unit or directly go for a GTN650.

I am pretty sure at that point that LPV is going to be the way forward almost everywhere but particularly at GA fields. it is the biggest and by far cheapest way to introduce high quality IFR approaches to a lot of places where it was so far not commercially nor technically really viable. And it is only the beginning, RNP approaches which for now are limited to some exotic places will most probably also become commonplace fairly soon. And the beauty of it is that an LPV capable box can do those too in most cases.



Last Edited by Mooney_Driver at 27 Jan 09:47
LSZH, Switzerland

The airlines will want to keep ILS as long as possible simply because of its user friendly nature. The level of EASA/xAA gold plating around CAT RNAV approaches is colossal and they are such a pain in the acres to fly that people actively avoid them.

ILSs are simple and user friendly. Set courses, minima and frequencies. Point aircraft at radio beam. Intercept radio beam. Track radio beam. Tea and medals.

RNAV approaches – 10 minutes reading the FMC line by line, discussing contingencies, faffing, going through extra briefing requirements. Far more irritating button-pushing and switch cycling on approach with chances of stuffing it up. One NAA requires a report be filed every time an RNAV approach is flown!!!

Give me a Greek Island visual any day…

London area

Josh wrote:

The level of EASA/xAA gold plating around CAT RNAV approaches is colossal and they are such a pain in the acres to fly that people actively avoid them.

Josh wrote:

RNAV approaches – 10 minutes reading the FMC line by line, discussing contingencies, faffing, going through extra briefing requirements. Far more irritating button-pushing and switch cycling on approach with chances of stuffing it up.

Why is it that every discussion about something new ends up exactly there? It’s nice, but certification cost is insurmountable?

Could it really be that the GA interfaces for this are actually better and easier to use than the Airline FMC’s? Or is it the airlines being scared enough of those things to make them impractical by overdoing the complexity big time?

Josh wrote:

One NAA requires a report be filed every time an RNAV approach is flown!!!

How long will the aviation industry tolerate this irrational refusal behaviour on the part of the regulators? Why is it that EVERY innovation which happens gets immediately attacked by those people?

I remember when ILS CAT II/III came along, it was the same thing. ETOPS, same thing, today they are 2nd nature, because the commercial pressure was big enough to get it done.

RNAV and LPV are the greatest chance we have ever had to get IFR into relatively small airfields at an affordable and probable price. If the regulators once again manage to screw it up with their gold plating and ass covering, then we will be exactly where we were before.

LSZH, Switzerland

The GSA recently published this handy 32 page guide for aircraft operators on how to obtain approval to fly LPV to minima.

At least some of the beaurocrats are trying to make progress.

FlyerDavidUK, PPL & IR Instructor
EGBJ, United Kingdom

Interesting document, DavidC. I’ve put a local copy here

There’s an amazing amount of prescriptive stuff in there… pages and pages of it. Every rulemaker seems to have waded in and had a go. One can understand Josh’s comment about how much easier the ILS is. Like this

Really?

One little thing I noticed:

So to fly an LPV you must have the current database cycle. If you have the previous cycle, but nothing has been changed, you are not legal to fly the approach. No such limitation on an ILS.

Normally, for IFR GPS usage, you will have a current cycle but sometimes, especially on a long trip, it may not be possible to achieve that. The wording of your IFR GPS AFMS may authorise the use of an expired cycle if you have checked that nothing has been changed (mine is thus worded, for example). But in this case, IF this is an actual regulation, you won’t be legal to fly an LPV approach in such a case.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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