Honeywell Software Addresses Situational Awareness, Incursions

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Honeywell's SmartRunway and SmartLanding products are upgrades to its Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System, they talk, they're recently FAA-approved and they're designed to directly address major factors identified by the FAA that lead to runway incursions. SmartLanding is designed to identify things like which runway the pilot is approaching and whether the aircraft's airspeed is too high, or if the aircraft is flying too high or going to incur a long landing, and then conveys that information to the pilots through audio and visual signals. SmartRunway conveys advisories about a runway's length and its location, calling out and identifying each runway whenever the aircraft is approaching one either on the ground or in the air. For landing aircraft, it will call out distance remaining before and after landing. The products together address three key FAA-identified factors that lead to runway incursions: "communication, airport familiarization and cockpit procedures for maintaining orientation," according to Honeywell. The company says SmartRunway will be compatible with ADS-B functionality as that technology becomes available and should be available on certain new Boeing aircraft as they come off the line.

Both SmartRunway and SmartLanding work through Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Systems. SmartRunway is currently offered by Boeing as an option on certain 747 and 777 models with plans to include the 737 by 2010.Honeywell says its systems offer worldwide coverage through inclusion of 1,900 airports and 6,500 runways it has collected in the programs' database. The company will add airports and runways upon customer request to ensure the product fits the need. SmartRunway is actually an upgrade to Honeywell's Runway Awareness and Advisory System (RAAS) that it's been selling since 2003 and with which more than 1600 aircraft are outfitted.