SAS_A330-300
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The Navigation System War

Sun Mar 11, 2001 3:35 am

In 1990 the Swedish inventor Håkan Lans invented a new navigation system for commercial aviation, which would make it easier for pilots and for air traffic controllers. His new system implies that the pilots have a GPS similar radar in cockpit, which shows where other aircraft is in the air. Because of this radar, the air traffic controllers only have to say “Follow the aircraft in front of you” to the pilots instead of tell them every navigation point. By this, the air traffic controllers can form a group of aircraft in a pretty simple way. This can be used in all type of flying. The system also shows if there is any obstacle on the runway when the aircraft is approaching the runway. A voice also tell the pilots to pull up when the aircraft is below 500 feet above the ground, if the obstacle still is on runway. This is a very good aid for example at very low visibility.
Doesn’t it sounds perfect?

Not to everyone. Even if the system has been available for over 10 years, the Flight Academy of America, FAA have not approved this system for use in commercial aviation.
Why?
Because this would, according to a report from FAA “damage the reputation of United States as a leading country in commercial aviation”. The new system would, of course let countries scrap the current navigation system, which also is made in America. Not only because of better performances, the new system has an overall cost less than a 1/10 of the current system. To upgrade the current system would also be a money question.
The FAA use any kind of weapon to avoid that other countries left the current (their) system.
Håkan Lans doesn’t want to say if he has bodyguards, but he says that he doesn’t want to remove the air traffic controllers as according to him “For ever will be need”.

But is the current navigation system so good as it can handle the current air traffic?
Since Lans invented the new system in 1990, the current system has caused many accidents which the new system could avoid to make happen. The worst one was in 1996 when a 747 from Saudia collided, with a cargo aircraft from Kazakhstan. Over 300 people were killed in that collision, caused by a fault from an air traffic controller.
Would they have lived if Lans system was used from the beginning?
Remember that they were men as much as I and you are.

What’s your opinion?

Simon Larsson
You know the gear is up when it takes full power to taxi