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Airlines To Get GPS Navigation...Someday
Author: Steve West
published: 2008-10-13 17:28:38
There are a lot of problems with the airline industry, but right there at the top of the list is the navigation system. Those of you sporting a Garmin GPS unit in your car have a far superior navigational system than the airline industry. Think about that for a moment. The airlines are still using a WWII era network that relies on radar beacons. In order to keep a plane on track it has to fly out of its way to hit these beacons. The traveling map animation seen in the Indiana Jones films have been lying to you, more often than not a plane does not fly a straight course to its destination.
It is estimated that going to GPS would save carriers around $10 billion per year in fuel cost. Wow. So why hasnít it been done yet? The switchover has been talked about and planned for over a decade, but ironically due to cost and funding issues has never left the planning stages. Going to GPS would an inordinately complex task to take on, but it is imperitive that it happen. On top of the billions spent on fuel there are billions of tax payer dollars going to bail the flailing airlines out of bankruptcy.
According to an article in USA Today the government doesnít see the switch taking place until 2020. Thatís if the airlines survive that long.