FAA contract to boost landing guidance

Pilots will have better approach and landing capabilities during poor weather

with the aid of new instrument landing systems purchased by the Federal

Aviation Administration.

The FAA awarded a potential $22 million contract to Airsys ATM for up to

105 Mark 20A Instrument Landing Systems, the agency announced Wednesday.

The systems provide guidance to aircraft during the final approach and landing

phases.

ILSs are expensive and not available on most runways, according to a spokesman

for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

The contract is for Category 1 ILSs, which allow pilots to descend to a

minimum of 200 feet above touchdown and with a half-mile of visibility down

the runway before making the decision to land.

The FAA's Wide-Area Augmentation System, which also is intended to provide

Category 1 capabilities, has hit safety hurdles this year that will make

it difficult to meet that goal.

The contract with Airsys ATM provides for up to 15 ILSs in the first year

of the contract and up to 45 systems in each of the two option years for

a total of 105 systems. Airsys ATM has provided Mark 20 Category 1, 2 and

3 ILSs to FAA under a contract that ended in December 1999.

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