WAAS LPV approaches can have decision altitudes as low as 200 AGL, the same as many Cat I ILS approaches. Previous opinions on the Internet have quoted the FAA as saying LPV is considered a non-precision approach, but many of these entries were made more than seven years ago, when the technology was much less mature. Does anyone know if this is still the FAA's position, and are there any RECENT references to their position?
LPV, LNAV/VNAV, and Baro VNAV are considered to be an 'Approach with Vertical Guidance (APV)'. These types of approaches are differentiated from 'Precision' approaches (ILS, PAR, etc.) in the FAA AIM (Section 5-4-5, Paragraph 7):
(b) Approach with Vertical Guidance (APV). An instrument approach based on a navigation system that is not required to meet the precision approach standards of ICAO Annex 10 but provides course and glidepath deviation information. For example, Baro−VNAV, LDA with glidepath, LNAV/VNAV and LPV are APV approaches.
From the Helicopter ATP PTS (Didn't look at FW):
C. TASK: PRECISION INSTRUMENT APPROACHES REFERENCES: Part 61; AC 61-27; Pilot's Operating Handbook, RFM, AIM; Instrument Approach Procedure Charts. NOTE: Two precision approaches must be accomplished in actual or simulated instrument conditions. NOTE: If the installed equipment and data base is current and qualified for IFR flight and LPV approaches, an LPV approach can be flown to demonstrate precision approach proficiency if the LPV DA is equal to or less than 300 feet HAT.
The question has become redundant. ICAO never did like the term ‘APV’ (which as defined logically ought to have included ILS but didn’t) or ‘non-precision’. As of now, in UK at least, it’s correct to refer only to two operational approach methods, 3D - of varying precision, from ILS CAT IIIB to LNAV/VNAV with RNP0.3 to ‘overlay’ NDB - and 2D approaches where vertical guidance isn’t presented to the pilot.
An LPV approach is in a category by itself. IAW the AIM it is considered an APV or approach with vertical guidance. It "may" not meet the requirements of ICAO 10 precision approach requirements, but does in fact have a Decision Altitude.