Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 97—Special Operating Rules for the Conduct of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Area Navigation (RNAV) Operations using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in Alaska

[Doc. No. FAA-2003-14305, 68 FR 14077, Mar. 21, 2003]

Those persons identified in Section 1 may conduct IFR en route RNAV operations in the State of Alaska and its airspace on published air traffic routes using TSO C145a/C146a navigation systems as the only means of IFR navigation. Despite contrary provisions of parts 71, 91, 95, 121, 125, and 135 of this chapter, a person may operate aircraft in accordance with this SFAR if the following requirements are met.

a. This SFAR permits TSO C145a/C146a GPS (RNAV) systems to be used for IFR en route operations in the United States airspace over and near Alaska (as set forth in paragraph c of this section) at Special Minimum En Route Altitudes (MEA) that are outside the operational service volume of ground-based navigation aids, if the aircraft operation also meets the requirements of sections 3 and 4 of this SFAR.

b. Certificate holders and part 91 operators may operate aircraft under this SFAR provided that they comply with the requirements of this SFAR.

c. Operations conducted under this SFAR are limited to United States Airspace within and near the State of Alaska as defined in the following area description:

From 62°00′00.000″ N, Long. 141°00′00.00″ W.; to Lat. 59°47′54.11″ N., Long. 135°28′38.34″ W.; to Lat. 56°00′04.11″ N., Long. 130°00′07.80″ W.; to Lat. 54°43′00.00″ N., Long. 130°37′00.00″ W.; to Lat. 51°24′00.00″ N., Long. 167°49′00.00″ W.; to Lat. 50°08′00.00″ N., Long. 176°34′00.00″ W.; to Lat. 45°42′00.00″ N., Long. −162°55′00.00″ E.; to Lat. 50°05′00.00″ N., Long. −159°00′00.00″ E.; to Lat. 54°00′00.00″ N., Long. −169°00′00.00″ E.; to Lat. 60°00 00.00″ N., Long. −180°00′ 00.00″ E; to Lat. 65°00′00.00″ N., Long. 168°58′23.00″ W.; to Lat. 90°00′00.00″ N., Long. 00°00′0.00″ W.; to Lat. 62°00′00.000″ N, Long. 141°00′00.00″ W.

(d) No person may operate an aircraft under IFR during the en route portion of flight below the standard MEA or at the special MEA unless the operation is conducted in accordance with sections 3 and 4 of this SFAR.

For the purposes of this SFAR, the following definitions and abbreviations apply.

Area navigation (RNAV). RNAV is a method of navigation that permits aircraft operations on any desired flight path.

Area navigation (RNAV) route. RNAV route is a published route based on RNAV that can be used by suitably equipped aircraft.

Certificate holder. A certificate holder means a person holding a certificate issued under part 119 or part 125 of this chapter or holding operations specifications issued under part 129 of this chapter.

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). GNSS is a world-wide position and time determination system that uses satellite ranging signals to determine user location. It encompasses all satellite ranging technologies, including GPS and additional satellites. Components of the GNSS include GPS, the Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System, and WAAS satellites.

Global Positioning System (GPS). GPS is a satellite-based radio navigational, positioning, and time transfer system. The system provides highly accurate position and velocity information and precise time on a continuous global basis to properly equipped users.

Minimum crossing altitude (MCA). The minimum crossing altitude (MCA) applies to the operation of an aircraft proceeding to a higher minimum en route altitude when crossing specified fixes.

Required navigation system. Required navigation system means navigation equipment that meets the performance requirements of TSO C145a/C146a navigation systems certified for IFR en route operations.

Route segment. Route segment is a portion of a route bounded on each end by a fix or NAVAID.

Special MEA. Special MEA refers to the minimum en route altitudes, using required navigation systems, on published routes outside the operational service volume of ground-based navigation aids and are depicted on the published Low Altitude and High Altitude En Route Charts using the color blue and with the suffix “G.” For example, a GPS MEA of 4000 feet MSL would be depicted using the color blue, as 4000G.

Standard MEA. Standard MEA refers to the minimum en route IFR altitude on published routes that uses ground-based navigation aids and are depicted on the published Low Altitude and High Altitude En Route Charts using the color black.

Station referenced. Station referenced refers to radio navigational aids or fixes that are referenced by ground based navigation facilities such as VOR facilities.

Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). WAAS is an augmentation to GPS that calculates GPS integrity and correction data on the ground and uses geo-stationary satellites to broadcast GPS integrity and correction data to GPS/WAAS users and to provide ranging signals. It is a safety critical system consisting of a ground network of reference and integrity monitor data processing sites to assess current GPS performance, as well as a space segment that broadcasts that assessment to GNSS users to support en route through precision approach navigation. Users of the system include all aircraft applying the WAAS data and ranging signal.

To operate an aircraft under this SFAR, the following requirements must be met:

a. Training and qualification for operations and maintenance personnel on required navigation equipment used under this SFAR.

b. Use authorized procedures for normal, abnormal, and emergency situations unique to these operations, including degraded navigation capabilities, and satellite system outages.

c. For certificate holders, training of flight crewmembers and other personnel authorized to exercise operational control on the use of those procedures specified in paragraph b of this section.

d. Part 129 operators must have approval from the State of the operator to conduct operations in accordance with this SFAR.

e. In order to operate under this SFAR, a certificate holder must be authorized in operations specifications.

a. The certificate holder must have properly installed, certificated, and functional dual required navigation systems as defined in section 2 of this SFAR for the en route operations covered under this SFAR.

b. When the aircraft is being operated under part 91, the aircraft must be equipped with at least one properly installed, certificated, and functional required navigation system as defined in section 2 of this SFAR for the en route operations covered under this SFAR.

This Special Federal Aviation Regulation will remain in effect until rescinded.