Posted by John McHale TUCSON, Ariz., 28 April 2011. A de Havilland DHC-7 (Dash 7) operated by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) completed operations in Antartica using new flight deck featuring large-format flat-panel avionics displays and special mission flight management systems from Universal Avionics in Tucson, Ariz.. The upgraded flight deck supports critical missions BAS conducts in the extreme and varied operating conditions found on Antarctica. BAS is an environmental research center and is responsible for England's national scientific activities in Antarctica. "From a pilot's point of view, we found the Universal systems intuitive to operate and easy to use after an acclimatization period of only a few hours. The training provided by Universal helped considerably with this process," says Alan Meredith, BAS chief pilot. "The improved operability and especially the increased situational awareness are appreciated by the crews and in general we are very pleased with the upgrade. The upgrade has, from an avionics perspective, future proofed this airframe for which there is no obvious alternative that meets British Antarctic Survey's operating criteria."The upgrade consisted of four Universal Avionics EFI-890R flat panel displays, dual UNS-1Fw WAAS/SBAS-FMSs with multi-mission management software (MMMS), TAWS, dual Vision-1 synthetic vision Systems, dual radio control units (RCU), and dual application server units (ASU) for charts, checklists, and electronic document (e-docs) display. The integration project was led by BAS maintenance support contractor Voyageur Airways Limited based at North Bay, Ontario, in cooperation with Universal dealer Kitchener Aero Avionics and Avionics Design Services. The Supplemental Type Certificate approval was issued by Transport Canada in October of 2010. The Dash 7 is the only aircraft type that meets specific mission requirements of BAS, making it the lifeline and intercontinental link supporting transport, critical scientific research, and survey missions based at the Rothera Research Station (Adelaide Island), along with regular long over-water resupply flights staging from the Falkland Islands and Chile.