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Difference between GPWS and EGPWS

Difference between GPWS and EGPWS

There are two main types of terrain warning systems: Ground Proximity Warning Systems (GPWS) and Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Systems (EGPWS). GPWS was the first system to be used on commercial aircraft, while EGPWS is a newer, more sophisticated system. Both have their pros and cons, but which one is right for your aircraft? Let’s take a look at the differences between GPWS and EGPWS.

What is GPWS?

GPWS is an aircraft flight safety system designed to warn pilots if their aircraft is in danger of flying into terrain or water. GPWS uses a variety of sensors to detect the aircraft’s altitude, rate of descent, and rate of turn. If the GPWS detects that the aircraft is in danger of collision, it will sound an alarm and display a warning on the instrument panel. GPWS is required on all commercial aircraft operating in controlled airspace. GPWS has been credited with helping to reduce the number of accidents caused by collisions with terrain or water.

What is EGPWS?

  • EGPWS is an acronym for Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System. It is a type of aviation collision avoidance system that uses GPS data to calculate the ground proximity of an aircraft.
  • EGPWS is designed to prevent controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accidents, which are a leading cause of death in aviation. The system constantly monitors the aircraft’s position and compares it to a database of terrain elevation data.
  • If the aircraft is determined to be in danger of colliding with the ground, EGPWS will provide audible and visual warnings to the pilot. In addition, EGPWS can also automatically initiate evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision. As a result, EGPWS has been shown to be an effective safety measure and is now required on all commercial aircraft.

Difference between GPWS and EGPWS

GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System) uses a radar altimeter to measure the height of the aircraft above the ground and provides audible and visual warnings to the pilot when the aircraft is in danger of collision with terrain.

  • GPWS is an important safety device, but it has some limitations. GPWS does not take into account obstacles such as towers or mountains, and it cannot provide warnings for uncovered bodies of water.
  • EGPWS (Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System) overcomes these limitations by using a database of terrain information to create a 3D map of the ground around the aircraft.
  • This allows EGPWS to provide accurate warnings for all types of terrain, including tall buildings, mountains, and bodies of water. In addition, EGPWS can provide warnings for runway incursions and approaches below minimum safe altitude. EGPWS is an important safety device that can help pilots avoid accidents.


The different types of terrain warning systems can be a little confusing, but hopefully, this article has cleared up any confusion.

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