Honeywell Aerospace has completed initial testing of new safety technology that will help business jets operators avoid runway accidents and collisions. Developed under the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research programme with partners Airbus, Dassault and Eurocontrol, the software-based Surface Indications and Alert System (SURF IA) is designed to give pilots visual and audio warnings about approaching hazards on the runway. Runway incursions can be costly and dangerouse and in Europe they occur at least twice daily.
“There are no independent avionics systems on the market today that can help avoid runway accidents and collisions,” says vice president, advanced technologies Mike Stewart. “With solutions such as Honeywell's SmartRunway, SmartLanding and now SURF IA, we are pioneering accident prevention through better pilot awareness, less latency in decision-making and quicker actions. SURF IA allows us to take our existing technology a step further by helping reduce the risk of an incident with other aircraft on the runway.”
The technology is the latest among the safety-focused products that Honeywell has delivered to the aerospace industry; others being SmartRunway and SmartLanding, the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System and the SmartTraffic Collision Avoidance System.
Traditionally, pilots have relied entirely on their line of sight and instructions from air traffic control to avoid collisions. The new Honeywell technology, through software-based data analysis and algorithms, seeks to provide early warning to aircrews and empower pilots to make quicker decisions and avoid runway incursions. The system analyses aircraft position data and calculates factors such as time to collision through specialised algorithms to alert pilots of surrounding aircraft. Honeywell's system is designed to require minimal changes to existing avionics and uses ADS-B Out data, a globally mandated technology upgrade due by 2020, to make installation of the solution quick and simple.
After successful prototype testing on board a test aircraft, Honeywell plans to begin full-scale production development.