WAAS will certainly not provide better accuracy than ILS. It is envisaged that WAAS will eventually make possible “new precision approaches” but the current phase 1 implementation schedule only provides for en-route and non-precision approach navigation. The LAAS (Local Area Augmentation System) is expected to provide CAT II and III approaches.
It’s not clear to me that WAAS, in the forseeable future, will provide any benefit other than improved integrity, but no doubt the FAA knows better.
Hmmm. Yes, you are both right that I misspoke/wrote that WAAS/LAAS would be better than an ILS. I realize now that it will only be as good, however it will require less equipment and is more versatile.
I disagree with you as to its usefulness. The FAA plans to have shelved more than half of all the ILS, and a majority of the VOR’S, NDB’S etc… by 2013, with substantial reductions (30%) by 2008. All based on a WAAS.LAAS navigation standard. The main point of a fully operational WAAS/LAAS is to allow a variety of new and/or simpler PRECISION approaches to be created at airports where the ILS is not practical. And while the current WAAS is not reliable enough to achieve Cat I ILS standards, my understanding is WAAS alone (without the LAAS) should achieve CAT I capability by next year or two. With LAAS those standards will improve even more! New Precision approaches are being designed as I write this into airports that until now had non-precision minimums of 1000ft. Some of those approaches are going to be available in the next 12 months.
To me this means WAAS/LAAS will be most beneficial to the private pilot, who unlike the airlines, rarely has the benefit of an ILS into the airport he/she desires. I can imagine how nice it will be to get into my home base of Santa Monica on the new precision GPS approach with ILS CAT I minimums… With over 5000 airports and less than 1/5 of those having ILS - I believe WAAS/LAAS will become the standard means for a private pilot to land in IMC.
Either way, the fact that the Garmins are designed with WAAS/LAAS capabilities in mind is good. I for one don’t want to end up with two 430’s that need to be replaced. (the UPS GPS in the lancairs are NOT upgradeable - $5K bye bye) I know, I know, 8 years is a long way off, but I thought these planes were supposed to be the future of aviation
BTW - good link about this stuff :