WAAS Approaches Outnumber ILS

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The FAA recently commissioned its 1,333rd WAAS approach (technically known as Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance or LPV) and that means there are now more of them than ILS approaches. The agency calls it a milestone in the transition to universal space-based navigation. The system is in use at 833 airports and the agency says it's planning to add 500 approaches a year until every qualifying runway in the U.S. has one. "This is clearly a turning point for aviation and the way pilots navigate," the agency said in a news release.

Something the agency doesn't mention but which is undoubtedly a factor in the rapid deployment of LPVs is they cost of a fraction of the millions of dollars that ILS systems cost. WAAS, or Wide Area Augmentation System, was commissioned in 2003.