For Immediate Release

Release No. APA 59-99
May 4, 1999
Contact: Tammy L. Jones
Phone: (202) 267-8521

WASHINGTON, DC — Representatives from the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be in Singapore this week to participate in a Forum on "Intermodalism and Satellite-Based Transportation Technologies." The FAA will demonstrate the potential use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) enhanced by the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS).

This flight demonstration is the first-of-its-kind in the Asia-Pacific region. At least 21 nations are represented at the forum from May 5 – 7, hosted by the Singapore Aviation Academy of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore under the auspices of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. The FAA worked closely with the organizations to set up the demonstration. A successful demonstration will encourage the adoption of this technology in airspace in this region. A special demonstration flight for the media takes place on May 4.

The GPS is an effective navigation aid used throughout the U.S. to make all modes of transportation safer, more efficient and cost-effective. Forum participants will demonstrate how the use of satellite-based navigation and communication technologies are being applied in the Asia-Pacific region.

The FAA will use a Boeing 727 aircraft to perform flight tests to demonstrate the potential benefits of the WAAS. WAAS is an augmentation to the GPS that corrects the GPS standard civil signal to provide the accuracy, integrity, and availability needed for the more demanding civil aviation navigation operations. The FAA is working with international partners to provide a seamless global satellite system for improved aviation safety worldwide. Previous successful tests have been conducted in Mexico, Italy, Iceland, and Chile.

For this demonstration, the FAA, with support from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, installed a reference station at Singapore Changi Airport. The reference station will compute errors for the GPS constellation specific for that area. This information will be used to create a corrected WAAS message that will be broadcast to the FAA aircraft. The aircraft will use this WAAS broadcast to guide the aircraft for Category 1 precision approaches at Changi Airport.

The media will get an opportunity to go on board the specially-equipped aircraft and witness an approach and landing using the GPS. They also will see the technology used by air traffic controllers to track aircraft beyond radar coverage and see how operational messages are exchanged with pilots.