Garmin recently won FAA certification for displaying Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) on its 430 and 530 navigators. The long anticipated certification came just short of four months before the March 29, 2005, deadline for TAWS to be installed in most turbine-powered airplanes. Garmin says that it has a substantial number of orders for TAWS, many from operators who need it in order to satisfy the FAA's mandate.
Adding TAWS to an existing GNS 530 (or GNS 500) costs $8,000. The avionics shop returns the unit to a Garmin service center, which makes the necessary hardware changes before returning it to the shop for installation.
Two other 530 safety enhancements are in the works. Garmin expects FAA approval for XM satellite weather for the 400- and 500-series navigators by April. This upgrade requires the installation of the GDL-69 receiver ($5,775 with XM satellite radio and $5,000 without it) but just a software change to the actual navigator.
Certification for WAAS, which will allow the navigators to be used for WAAS near-precision approaches, is expected by this summer. The addition of WAAS is a $1,500 hardware upgrade.