Making Sense of GPS Approach Minimums

GPS Approach Minimums

The minima section of an RNAV or GPS approach chart looks like a bowl of alphabet soup. Full of ever-changing acronyms, it’s hard for the weekend flyer to keep up. To help, I studied the AIM and compiled this at-a-glance list of GPS approach minima and what they mean to you.

Minima In English Details
GLS GNSS Landing System GLS uses LAAS (Local Area Augmentation System) to provide ILS-like lateral and vertical guidance. GLS is still under development
LPV Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance Uses WAAS to provide ILS-like lateral and vertical guidance. Minimums will be slightly higher than GLS
LNAV/VNAV Lateral Navigation with Vertical Navigation Vertical guidance provided by a barometric altimeter based system or WAAS GPS
LP Localizer Performance Localizer-like performance provided by a WAAS capable GPS. No vertical guidance
LNAV Lateral Navigation Step-down non precision approach with no vertical guidance. Any GPS certified for IFR approaches can fly to LNAV minimums

All of this information and more is in the latest Airman Information Manual. For the 2013 manual, check pages 5-4-21 and 5-4-22.

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About the author
Pat Flannigan is a professional pilot and aviation blogger. He has been flying for fifteen years and is currently working as an airline pilot in the United States.

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