Wings Magazine

Garmin recognizes GPS milestone in aviation

Feb. 14, 2014, Olathe, Kan. - Garmin International Inc. has commemoratesd the 20th  anniversary of the Garmin GPS 155 receiving FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO) authorization, the industry’s first FAA TSO-C129 approach approved IFR GPS receiver.

February 14, 2014  By Carey Fredericks

The GPS 155 TSO received FAA TSO approval on February 16, 1994, which
set the bar for future technological GPS advancements in aviation. “Our
commitment to develop state-of-the-art  technology is present yet today
as we celebrate this industry-leading innovation in Garmin history,”
said Carl Wolf, Garmin’s vice president of aviation sales and marketing.
“The GPS 155 TSO laid the groundwork for future aviation milestones and
set the standard for product development, eventually ushering in the
foundational technology for what is now referred to as NextGen.”

GPS 155 TSO was the world’s first GPS navigation product to be fully
certified to FAA TSO-C129, Class A1 standards for non-precision approach
use. For the first time, pilots could fly in instrument meteorological
conditions (IMC) throughout the departure, enroute, and approach phases
of flight using GPS as their primary navigation source. This approval
followed shortly after the FAA declared GPS initial operational
capability (IOC), which had followed the Department of Defense declaring
GPS IOC in December of 1993. This paved the way for aircraft operators
to recognize the operational and safety benefits from modern era
satellite-based navigation. It also enabled the prolific innovation of
new, cutting-edge technologies based upon an affordable and precise
position source such as moving map displays, terrain avoidance systems,
and synthetic vision.

The introduction of GPS navigation into the
aviation industry commenced the phase-out of older generation
ground-based navigational aids (NAVAIDs). GPS provided instrument
approach capability, particularly important for remote airports that did
not have funding or accessibility to NAVAIDs. Offering a high level of
integrity, GPS navigation proved to be more precise, which offered a
level of safety traditional navigation could not provide. For the first
time in history, the Garmin GPS 155 TSO enabled the use of this highly
accurate technology for the purpose of flying non-precision instrument
approaches in the national airspace system.

Following the
certification of the GPS 155 TSO, in 1998 Garmin would again celebrate
another first: an integrated GPS, COM, VOR, LOC, and glideslope product
complete with a colour moving-map, also known as the GNS 430. Similarly,
when the GNS 430 and GNS 530 received Wide Area Augmentation System
(WAAS) certification in 2006, the most popular IFR certified GPS system
to date gave pilots even greater instrument approach capabilities.
Building off the framework fostered by years of innovation, the GTN™ 650
and GTN 750 were introduced to the marketplace as the first touchscreen
avionics certified for general aviation aircraft just three years ago.
The GPS 155 TSO unquestionably laid the foundation for future
advancements in avionics.


“Since our inception nearly 25 years
ago, Garmin has been committed to providing superior products that are
known for their innovation, reliability, and intuitive design,” said
Phil Straub, Garmin’s vice president and managing director of aviation.
“We are grateful to our loyal customer base who has helped us achieve
these tremendous milestones and we are committed to serving them for
years to come.” Garmin’s aviation business segment is a leading provider
of solutions to OEM, aftermarket, military and government customers.
Garmin’s portfolio includes navigation, communication, flight control,
hazard avoidance, surveillance, and other products and services that are
known for innovation, reliability, and value.


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