For Immediate Release
Release No. APA 61-00
August 24, 2000
Contact: Kathryn B. Creedy
WASHINGTON, DC — After a successful 21-day stability test of the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) signal in space, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) declared that it is now available for some aviation and all non-aviation uses. The test demonstrated required system stability allowing immediate use of the WAAS signal by a broad range of users.
WAAS augments the Global Positioning System (GPS) by improving the GPS position signal. The test demonstrated that the system can operate without interruption, providing a stable and reliable signal to augment GPS. The system demonstrated one to two meters horizontal accuracy and two to three meters vertical accuracy throughout the contiguous United States. Raytheon will operate the system for the FAA on a continuous basis, interrupting it only as necessary to upgrade or test the system. To provide users with information on these outages, the WAAS broadcast schedule is available at gps.faa.gov/Programs/NSTB/Provisions/sis.htm or www.raytheontands.com/waas.
The current WAAS signal is available to aviation users for increasing situational awareness during flight under visual flight rules (VFR) and on the airport surface, among other uses. For non-aviation users, the signal supports a variety of applications in recreation, boating, agriculture and surveying.
WAAS continues to be developed to provide the necessary integrity for the WAAS-required, safety-critical applications. Until the system design is completed and initial operational capability is declared, the WAAS is not an approved source of aircraft navigation under instrument flight rules (IFR).