European agencies OK runway safety tool

Paris Air Show » 2005
December 14, 2006, 8:22 AM

The European Aviation Safety Agency and the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile of France have issued approvals for limited use of Honeywell’s runway awareness and advisory system (RAAS) in Europe. The EASA STC covers RAAS installation on the Learjet 31, 35, 36, 55 and 60, while the French authority approved the system for the Boeing 777.

Honeywell’s RAAS is a software addition to the company’s enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS). It sounds an aural alert when a pilot approaches a runway during taxiing and other crucial points on the airport surface. It also identifies the runway in use, alerts of too little runway for takeoff or landing and warns of an attempted takeoff from a taxiway.

In the U.S. Honeywell just won Federal Aviation Administration certification for its TPA-100A traffic surveillance system for the Airbus A340 and A330. Essentially a TCAS system with ADS-B capability, the TPA-100A tracks aircraft located as far away as 100 miles. Thirty-two percent lighter than conventional TCAS, it also occupies less space in the avionics bay.

Honeywell also just earned FAA approval for a $4.5 million revision to its contract to develop satellite-based precision navigation aids for airports.

The modification directs Honeywell to incorporate a new set of system integrity algorithms into its SLS-3000 local area augmentation systems (LAAS) at Memphis (Tennessee) International Airport. The LAAS ground station monitors the accuracy of navigation signals from GPS satellites and transmits a correction signal to GPS systems in nearby aircraft.

Finally, Honeywell announced it has conducted successful flight tests of a communications management unit (CMU) using new secure aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (ACARS) software. The avionics transmitted and received messages using industry-standard cryptographic algorithms to ensure the integrity of messages.

Honeywell’s Global Data Center in Redmond, Washington, processed the secure messages on the ground. Participants in the three-hour test flight included U.S. Air Force personnel. The Air Force has expressed an interest in the technology due to a growing concern over the security of aircraft communications.    

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