From: Robert Dorsett <email@example.com> Date: 03 Jun 94 14:13:36
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[The following is reposted with permission from ClariNet. See end of message for details on ClariNet.] WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government is so happy with new satellite technology it has decided to abandon development of a microwave-based system to guide aircraft landings. The Transportation Department made the announcement Thursday. Cancellation of development contracts with Raytheon Corp. and Wilcox Corp. is expected to save $59 million. The microwave system was intended to give pilots precise landing guidance in all weather conditions, replacing the old radio-based instrument landing system. Early versions of the microwave system are in use at about a half-dozen airports. But the satellite-based Global Positioning System is showing the potential to do an even better job. ``Continuing the (microwave) development is not an economically sound strategy,'' since it will unlikely be needed, said Federal Aviation Administrator David R. Hinson. The FAA said the decision to abandon the microwave system in favor of GPS was supported by the Air Transport Association, which represents major airlines; the Helicopter Association International and other industry groups. Hinson said his agency will work with international aviation groups to iron out any problems the decision causes with foreign airline plans. The Global Positioning System is based on two dozen satellites circling the earth. It was originally a military project which now has expanded to a wide variety of civilian uses. By measuring how long it takes the radio signal to travel to a satellite and back the system can tell a pilot how far he is from that satellite. By comparing signal time from four satellites the system can calculate latitude, longitude, altitude and time -- locating the craft within yards anywhere in the world, Hinson explained. And special devices located on the ground can narrow the location down to inches, permitting landings in low visibility and bad weather and even helping guide taxiing airplanes. Using the system, Continental has made 158 landings at Aspen, Colo., that would have had to be diverted elsewhere because of weather or darkness. As a result 10,183 passengers arrived at their destination who would have had to be diverted elsewhere, the FAA reported. -- This, and all articles in the clari.* news hierarchy, are Copyright 1994 by the wire service or information provider, and licensed to ClariNet Communications Corp. for distribution. Except for articles in the biz.clarinet.sample newsgroup, only paid subscribers may access these articles. Any unauthorized access, reproduction or transmission is strictly prohibited. We offer a reward to the person who first provides us with information that helps stop those who distribute or receive our news feeds without authorization. Please send reports to firstname.lastname@example.org. -- "Copyright 1994 by AP. Reposted with permission from the ClariNet Electronic Newspaper newsgroup clari.biz.industry.aviation. For more info on ClariNet, write to email@example.com or phone 1-800-USE-NETS."