Garmin International Inc. has unveiled the plans
to upgrade its 400 and 500 avionics series, including the
integrated GNS 430 and GNS 530. These upgrades include terrain
advisories, certified Terrain Avoidance and Warning System (TAWS)
and precision operations via the long-awaited Wide Area
Augmentation System (WAAS). The company plans to start implementing
its internal terrain and TAWS upgrades later this year.
Terrain Avoidance... Finally
"It has always been a goal of ours to add terrain, TAWS-B and
WAAS to our popular line of panel-mount avionics, and we’re
excited to deliver these internal upgrades to our popular 400 and
500 series," said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s director of
marketing. "Pilots can expect true-to-form Garmin innovation in the
way that our MFD-like GNS 430 and GNS 530 will display critical
information about the terrain below and ahead of them, improving
overall flight safety."
The upgrades follow respective timelines:
Garmin will offer terrain advisories as an internal upgrade on
its 400/500 avionics in the fourth quarter of 2003. This upgrade
will cost $500 and will enable the 400/500 series to identify
potential hazards, displaying them in yellow and red, so the pilot
can avoid possible CFIT accidents.
Additionally, current Garmin 500 series owners can opt for a
Class-B TAWS upgrade starting in the fourth quarter of 2003. This
upgrade will cost $6,495 for orders placed through the end of the
year. TAWS upgrades must be completed at Garmin’s factory
overhaul facilities in Olathe (KS) and Romsey (UK). This upgrade
meets an important FAA mandate requiring TAWS-B for turbine-powered
aircraft with six or more passenger seats.
Garmin plans to offer WAAS upgrades for the 400/500 series and
plans to provide the benefits of WAAS on these products for less
than $1,500 by the end of 2004. This upgrade must also be completed
at Garmin’s overhaul facilities in the US and UK.