What is the difference between LNAV/VNAV and LPV minimums on an RNAV approach?

  • What is the difference between LNAV/VNAV and LPV minimums on an RNAV approach? Lnafziger

    This approach shows two sets of minimums that both have vertical guidance with a Decision Altitude (DA). What is the difference between LNAV/VNAV and LPV, and why does LPV have lower minimums?

    KFXE RNAV 26 Approach plate

  • LPV is a higher precision approach requiring equipment beyond what is needed for LNAV/VNAV. In particular you need dual WAAS recievers in a certified installation. The improved guidance is what allows the lower DH. See this link for more information.

  • LPV - Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance is some kind of enhanced satellite navigation with an required accuracy of 16 meters in the horizontal and 20 meters in the vertical plane during 95 percent of the time, achieved by multiple special GPS (WAAS) receivers. Obviously this accuracy allows to reduce the minima on the approaches.

  • LNAV/VNAV approaches were originally designed for larger, more sophisticated turbine aircraft, utilizing onboard Flight Management Systems (FMS). These types of approaches uses barometric altimeters and ground radio equipment to compute a descent path and add vertical guidance to an existing non-precision approach.

    An LPV approach still provides vertical guidance and is a precision approach, but in contrast uses WAAS GPS satellite information to provide the aircraft with the vertical descent information.

    Usually a WAAS approved GPS navigator, like the Garmin 430w, is capable of flying both LPV and LNAV/VNAV approaches.

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