Gulfstream given FFA approval to upgrade surveillance system on aircraft

Gulfstream Aerospace will be installing a new communication and surveillance platform known as Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A+ on its Gulfstream V aircraft.

The US owned subsidiary of aerospace and defence company General Dynamics received approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to install FANS 1/A+, a system which will be required for future airline communication and surveillance as mandated by the FAA.

According to Gulfstream, after 30 Jan, 2020, aircraft without FANS 1/A+ will not be allowed to operate in Minimum Navigation Performance Specification airspace, which includes most North Atlantic routes as operational mandates require FANS1/A+ for the most wind-efficient flight tracks of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Gulfstream has developed an upgrade to its FANS surveillance system - image courtesy of General Dynamics
Gulfstream has developed an upgrade to its FANS surveillance system – image courtesy of General Dynamics.

FANS 1/A+ was developed to address the ability of air traffic control (ATC) to handle a dramatic increase in aircraft traffic, with the avionics system using automation and satellite-based technology to improve aviation communication, surveillance and traffic management.

The new system is an improvement on the previous FANS 1/A product and has reduced fuel burn and flight time through access to shorter flight tracks, reduced pilot workload and allowed for a reduced separation between aircraft which allows for increased traffic.

FANS 1/A+ also provides new functionalities like Automatics Position Reporting (ADS-C) which is intended to reduce traffic congestion, increase the accuracy of position reporting, and facilitate clearer and more accurate communication between the pilot and air traffic controllers.

Vice president of product support, sales and new business development at Gulfstream, Mike West, said the new FANS 1/A system was created through a partnership with aerospace parts manufacturer Honeywell.

“Our FANS 1/A+ solution for GVs is fully integrated with the aircraft’s flight management system,” he said.

“I can’t emphasise the word ‘fully’ enough, the FMS and FANS systems [were] developed and created through a unique partnership between Gulfstream and Honeywell,

“The engineering and flight-test efforts were extensive to ensure we meet the needs of our nearly 200 GV operators.”

Massive profits for Gulfstream

Gulfstream Aerospace’s approval by the FAA to install the FANS 1/A+ system on its aircraft is the latest big development for the company, which has proved a star performer for parent company General Dynamics.

Gulfstream Aerospace recorded its highest-ever quarterly revenue during the third quarter of 2015, which was boosted by soaring deliveries with 43 jets (31 large-cabin, 12 midsize) handed over compared with 31 aircraft (25 large-cabin, 6 mid-size) in the same period last year.

General Dynamics chairman and CEO, Phebe Novakovic, said that Gulfstream Aerospace’s year-over-year third quarter revenue had reached $548m to a make an annual total of $2.343b, while profits for its aerospace segment as a whole rose by $15m to $426m.