What is POS on Boeing 737? (Position)

Position (POS) on the Boeing 737 aircraft refers to the location of the aircraft in three-dimensional space. It provides valuable information about the aircraft’s location, altitude, and velocity, allowing pilots and air traffic controllers to have a clear picture of its current status. In this article, we will explore the concept of position on the Boeing 737 aircraft and its significance in aviation operations.

Understanding the Importance of Position on the Boeing 737

The precise and accurate determination of an aircraft’s position is essential for safe and efficient flight operations. Position information is crucial for various aspects of aviation, including navigation, flight planning, collision avoidance, and communication with air traffic control. Boeing 737 utilizes advanced technology and systems to obtain and maintain its position throughout the flight.

Methods of Determining Position on the Boeing 737

The Boeing 737 aircraft utilizes multiple methods to determine its position. These methods can be broadly categorized into two main types: inertial navigation systems (INS) and global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).

1. Inertial Navigation Systems (INS)

Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) utilize a combination of accelerometers and gyroscopes to determine an aircraft’s position. The accelerometers measure changes in velocity, while the gyroscopes measure changes in direction. By integrating these measurements over time, the system can calculate the aircraft’s position relative to its starting point.

The Boeing 737 is equipped with an advanced INS that continuously calculates the aircraft’s position based on its initial position and the data from the accelerometers and gyroscopes. This information is also used to update other systems on the aircraft, such as the flight management system (FMS) and the autopilot.

2. Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) utilize a network of satellites to provide precise positioning and timing data to receivers on the ground or in an aircraft. The most widely used GNSS is the Global Positioning System (GPS), which is maintained by the United States government.

The Boeing 737 is equipped with a GNSS receiver that receives signals from multiple GPS satellites. By analyzing these signals, the receiver can calculate the aircraft’s position with high accuracy. This position information is used by the aircraft’s navigation systems, such as the FMS, to guide the aircraft along its intended flight path.

The Role of Position in Flight Planning and Navigation

Position information plays a crucial role in flight planning and navigation on the Boeing 737. The accurate knowledge of the aircraft’s position allows pilots and the onboard systems to plan and execute flights efficiently and safely.

1. Flight Planning

During the flight planning phase, position information is used to determine the aircraft’s route, fuel consumption, and estimated time of arrival. By considering the current position and the planned route, pilots can optimize their flight paths to minimize fuel consumption and reduce travel time.

Furthermore, accurate position information enables pilots to plan for alternate routes and make informed decisions in case of adverse weather conditions or air traffic congestion. This helps in ensuring the safety and efficiency of the flight.

2. Navigation and Guidance

During the flight, position information provides essential guidance to the pilots. The flight management system (FMS) uses the aircraft’s position to calculate and display the desired track and distance to the next waypoint or destination. This allows pilots to accurately navigate the aircraft along the planned route.

With real-time position updates, pilots can also receive alerts for potential conflicts with other aircraft or restricted airspace. This enables them to take necessary actions to avoid any potential risks or violations.

3. Collision Avoidance

Position information is crucial for collision avoidance on the Boeing 737. The aircraft’s position, combined with information from onboard sensors and air traffic control, allows for the detection and resolution of potential conflicts with other aircraft.

The Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) on the Boeing 737 uses the aircraft’s position and velocity to determine the threat level of nearby aircraft and provides advisories or instructions to the pilots to avoid potential collisions.


Position (POS) on the Boeing 737 aircraft plays a vital role in ensuring safe and efficient flight operations. The accurate determination of the aircraft’s position using advanced systems such as INS and GNSS enables pilots to navigate the aircraft along planned routes, avoid collisions, and make informed decisions during flight planning. The continuous updates of position information throughout the flight ensure that the Boeing 737 operates within its designated airspace and adheres to air traffic control instructions. By understanding the importance of position on the Boeing 737, we can appreciate the significant role it plays in aviation safety and efficiency.

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