Garmin recognizes GPS milestone

OLATHE, Kan. — Garmin is commemorating 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 Feb. 16, 1994, which set the bar for future technological GPS advancements in aviation, Garmin officials said.

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, Garmin officials said.

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.

GPS navigation proved to be more precise, which offered a level of safety traditional navigation could not provide, Garmin officials noted. 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 color 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 IFR certified GPS gave pilots even greater instrument approach capabilities. Building off that framework, 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, according to Garmin officials.

For more information: Garmin.com

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