Gulfstream gets FAA go ahead for FANS installations
Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. recently earned approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to install the mandated avionics upgrade known as Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A+ on GIV-SP aircraft.
FANS 1/A+ uses automation and satellite-based technology to improve aviation communication, surveillance and traffic management. It will allow Gulfstream’s nearly 325 GIV-SP operators to comply with worldwide mandates for the most efficient routing to and from Europe and North America.
“Like our solution for GV aircraft, this system was developed by Gulfstream and Honeywell to fully integrate with the GIV-SP flight deck,” said Derek Zimmerman, president, Gulfstream Product Support. “It is not a stand-alone system. The full functionality of the flight management system — auto throttle, auto pilot, vertical navigation — is retained. Operators will save time and fuel with access to preferred routing across the North Atlantic Ocean, and training on the system is fast since flight crews are already proficient with the flight management system and control display unit.”
Operational mandates require FANS 1/A+ for the most wind-efficient North Atlantic Ocean flight tracks. Some Pacific Ocean routes are also affected. After Jan. 30, 2020, aircraft without FANS 1/A+ will not be allowed to operate in Minimum Navigation Performance Specification airspace, which includes most North Atlantic routes.
Other benefits of FANS 1/A+ include reduced pilot workload, fully automated position reporting, reduced separation between aircraft and digital data link communication with air traffic control. As part of the FAA’s NextGen transformation of the National Airspace System, business jets equipped for FANS 1/A+ can now obtain digital departure clearance (DCL) services at several U.S. airports, including Hobby International in Houston. New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport is scheduled to implement DCL soon.
“Voice communication is replaced by digital communication — text messaging,” Zimmerman said of DCL. “This reduces the potential for operational errors caused by language difficulties and results in more efficient and faster departures.”
The FANS 1/A+ installation on a GIV-SP requires the following new hardware: a communications management unit, a transceiver and a cockpit voice recorder with data link recording ability. A flight deck printer is optional. The work can be completed at Gulfstream’s U.S. service centers, which are located in Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia; West Palm Beach, Florida; Westfield, Massachusetts; Appleton, Wisconsin; Dallas; Las Vegas; and Long Beach, California.
Gulfstream is pursuing a similar supplemental type certificate from the FAA for the GIV.