Garmin recognizes GPS milestone in aviation

February 14, 2014
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.

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.”

The 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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