What follows is an official response to my inquiry to Garmin regarding the WAAS capability of the GNS 430/530 series, and the effect of the availability of VFR and future IFR WAAS capaibility:
TSO C146 (Stand-Alone Airborne Navigation Equipment using the Global Positioning System (GPS) Augmented by the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)) is now released. We have begun to analyze exactly what it will take to incorporate WAAS into the GNS 430/530 products.
Recently, the FAA has announced that the WAAS signals are available for “VFR use”. Essentially, these are test signals which may be discontinued at any time without notice. Unfortunately, this provides no benefit to the users. (no IFR use, no enhanced integrity, little additional accuracy over GPS now that Selective Availability (SA) has been discontinued). As there is currently no immediate benefit to the user from WAAS (no precision approaches yet defined, and the aforementioned), we also do not see immediate pressure to offer this functionality in a hurry, but rather we will take our time and do it right.
We currently do not envision offering WAAS augmentation to our GNS 430/530 products until Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is declared on the system, which is currently scheduled for 2002.
As the precise details of what will be required to upgrade the GNS 430 to WAAS are currently unknown, pricing for this future upgrade has not yet been established. At a minimum, the unit will need to be returned to the factory to have new TSO markings applied. There will be a software upgrade required, and as of yet we do not know if a hardware upgrade will be necessary.
Thank you and best Regards,
Avionics Product Manager
WAAS IS NOW AVAILABLE, FAA SAYS
After a successful 21-day stability test, the
From today’s AOPA e-Pilot. Although the WAAS system is only available for VFR right now, soon it will be available for IFR too. When will Garmin be selling WAAS upgraded units?
Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is now available for aviation use, the FAA announced Thursday. The test demonstrated that the system can operate without interruption, providing a stable and reliable signal to augment GPS units. Raytheon will operate the system for the FAA on a continuous basis, but will interrupt it occasionally to upgrade or test the system. The current WAAS signal is available to pilots to increase situational awareness during VFR operations and on the airport surface. Until the system design is completed and initial operational capability is declared, WAAS is not approved for IFR.