...And Increase Reliability

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While safety was the prime motivation of Capstone, it has had some operational benefits as well. For instance, the use of GPS instrument approaches at remote airfields has greatly improved the reliability of air service to those communities. "At villages where Capstone has created instrument approaches, the fraction of time weather makes air travel unavailable has been reduced by 50 percent," the report says. Company managers can also keep track of their aircraft in real time over the Internet by using a flight-monitoring function added in 2002. Likely one of the reasons Capstone has been such a success is that pilots seem to like using it. The study indicates that pilots frequently use most of the functions available and rate them highly. The only major disappointment has been the Flight Information System Broadcast intended to beam weather graphics and text to the cockpit. It wasn't available everywhere and couldn't be overlaid with traffic on cockpit displays, so it's hardly ever used. However, Automated Weather Observing Systems (AWOS) were available at many remote fields.