Here at Garmin, we’re celebrating an important anniversary today and we’re inviting you to join in on the excitement! Twenty years ago, the Garmin GPS 155 TSO was the aviation industry’s first GPS receiver to be fully certified to FAA TSO-C129, Class A1 standards for non-precision instrument approach use.
Can you believe it’s already been 20 years? Neither can we!
With the introduction of the GPS 155 TSO, pilots could fly in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) throughout the departure, enroute, and approach phases of flight using GPS as their primary navigation source. The introduction of GPS in both visual and instrument flight conditions reduced airspace incursions, improved situational awareness, and allowed for more direct, point-to-point travel. GPS eventually provided instrument approach capability, particularly for remote airports that did not have the funding or accessibility to traditional ground-based navigational aids (NAVAIDs). Furthermore, if terrain inhibited the use of NAVAIDs, travel into and out of airports in mountainous areas when instrument flying conditions were present, often proved difficult if not impossible. GPS proved to be more precise and offer a level of safety that traditional forms of navigation could not provide.
Going forward, the GPS 155 TSO unquestionably laid the foundation for future advancements in avionics. In 1998, Garmin introduced the first integrated GPS, COM, VOR, LOC, and glideslope display, also known as the GNS 430. Several years later, the most popular IFR certified GPS to date offered pilots even greater instrument approach capabilities when the GNS 430/530 received Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) certification. And then again in 2011, the GTN 650 and GTN 750 were introduced as the first touchscreen avionics certified for general aviation aircraft.
Building off of the framework fostered by years of innovation, Garmin continues to introduce industry-leading products across all five segments: automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor. But twenty years ago, the Garmin GPS 155 undeniably laid the groundwork and set a precedent for general aviation.
Where would general aviation be today without the GPS 155?
GPS 155 TSO