RAAS For The Masses

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Honeywell's runway awareness and advisory system (RAAS) will soon be popping up in more and more corporate and charter cockpits. The system is a software-based solution to runway incursions developed as an add-on for the company’s enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS), currently deployed on over 20,000 aircraft. According to Honeywell, the RAAS function can typically be added with no new hardware or wiring changes needed, just a software upgrade. While the FAA approved the system earlier this year, few aircraft have received the upgrade. Now, according to both Gulfstream and Cessna, that's about to change. Recently, both companies announced availability of upgrades to Honeywell's EGPWS installations enabling RAAS approvals. Using GPS data, RAAS provides advisories based on aircraft position as compared to runway locations stored in the EGPWS database. To accomplish this, the RAAS software upgrade will activate additional features in the existing Mk V and Mk VII EGPWS computer with 219-219 software or in those in-service units for which an upgrade to the 219-219 software is available.

In Cessna's case, the company says it has developed service bulletins for the software upgrade and that its Citation Service Center network will install the RAAS system and complete the certification on any in-service Citation Bravo (model 550), Citation Encore (model 560), Citation Excel (model 560XL) or Citation X (model 750). A service bulletin for the Citation Excel was released in July with the remaining bulletins scheduled for release in mid-September. More information about Cessna’s Citation RAAS Certified Installation Service is available by e-mailing RAAS@cessna.textron.com. Similarly, Gulfstream said it has received FAA approval and that all Gulfstream and General Dynamics Aviation Services’ service centers are "ready to begin installations," according to Larry Flynn, president, product support, Gulfstream, and president, General Dynamics Aviation Services. Gulfstream can install the RAAS upgrade on its own product line -- G100, G200, G300, G400, GIV/GIV-SP and GV (RAAS for the G500 and G550 will be available in the fourth quarter of 2005) -- plus more than 20 other bizjets, including those from Boeing, Bombardier, Cessna, Challenger, Falcon, Hawker, and Learjet. Gulfstream Service Centers are located in Long Beach, Calif.; Dallas; Appleton, Wis.; Savannah, Ga.; Brunswick, Ga.; and London-Luton in England. General Dynamics Aviation Services operates service centers in Las Vegas; Dallas; Minneapolis; Westfield, Mass.; and West Palm Beach, Fla.