The trick is the GPS or Global Positioning System, our Navigator, so to speak. For centuries, navigators and explorers have searched the heavens for a system that would enable them to locate their position on the globe with the accuracy necessary to avoid tragedy and to reach their intended destinations. In 1993, the US Air Force launched the Navstar satellite into orbit, completing a network of 24 satellites known as the Global Positioning System. The GPS can instantly learn your location on the planet, that is your latitude, longitude and even the altitude within a few hundred feet.
This incredible new technology was made possible by a combination of scientific and engineering advances, particularly the atomic clocks that are precise to within a billionth of a second.
Today, the GPS is saving lives, helping society in countless other ways and generating 100,000 jobs in a multi-million industry.
Information from the GPS, namely the latitude and longitude, is used by the aircraft's computers to navigate from one point to another. Once the route, say from New York to Dubai has been selected into the computer, it will direct the aircraft through the auto pilot, to fly straight or turn according to the routing automatically. There is no need for the pilot to look out and fly visually like the good old days when one must have exceptional eyesight to fly an aircraft.
Information of Interest to Passengers
- Even if the GPS equipment fails in your aircraft, there are three backup Navigational systems which can safely take you to your desired destination without much problem.