CVN-78 achieves flight deck certifications

By Mallory Shelbourne / March 24, 2020 at 1:08 PM

The lead ship in the Ford aircraft carrier class has attained both its flight deck and carrier air traffic control center certifications, the Navy announced yesterday.

In a press release, the service said the Gerald Ford (CVN-78) finished the certifications after doing flight operations.

"In order to certify Ford's flight deck and carrier air traffic control center, the ship was required to complete a Precision Approach Landing Systems (PALS) certification, and conduct two consecutive days of flight operations with 50 day traps on day one, followed by 70 day traps and 40 night traps on day two. Together, the crews of Ford and [Carrier Air Wing] 8 exceeded those minimum requirements," the release reads.

"Over a two-day period, F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornets from four squadrons assigned to CVW 8 conducted 123 day, and 42 night cats and traps aboard Ford to reach this milestone in Ford's operational readiness," it continues.

CVN-78 air operations officer Cmdr. Phil Brown described the PALS accreditation as "a critical step" for the carrier in attaining the flight deck certification.

"Our system performed really well during our approaches, and provided a solid level of confidence to [Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division] in our ability to recover jets," Brown said in a statement.