Garmin Certifies TAWS For GNS 530 And GPS 500

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Garmin announced Thursday that it has received FAA certification to add Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) capability to its GNS 530 and GPS 500 units. The system can provide pilots with graphical and audible alerts of potential terrain and obstacle conflicts along the flight path, Garmin said. "TAWS technology represents a significant advance in flight safety and its widespread adoption could dramatically reduce the number of terrain-related accidents -- one of the leading causes of fatalities in aviation," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's director of marketing. New TAWS-certified units start at $20,500, and upgrades for current owners cost $8,000, Garmin said. The addition of TAWS enables the GNS 530 and GPS 500 to graphically display the surrounding terrain and obstacles in bright yellow and red, relative to the aircraft's current altitude, Garmin said. Yellow is used to depict conflicts 1,000 to 100 vertical feet below the aircraft. Red is used to depict conflicts 100 vertical feet below the aircraft's current altitude and above. Audible and graphical alerts include forward-looking terrain avoidance, imminent terrain impact, premature descent during approach, altitude loss after takeoff, 500-foot callout and excessive rate of descent. The GNS 530 is an integrated system with IFR oceanic-approved GPS, VHF navigation with instrument landing system, and VHF communication on a five-inch color display. The GPS 500 is an IFR oceanic-approved GPS navigation system with a five-inch, color moving-map display.