New alert system to offer enhanced runway safety

Nov. 29, 2018

SESAR member, Honeywell, has completed a first series of flight testing of a system which looks set to improve safety for pilots, passengers and other aircraft on airport runways. The system is one of several solutions in the pipeline as part of the SAFE (PJ03b), a project that brings together air navigation service providers, manufacturers, airport operators, research institutes from across Europe and Eurocontrol .

Traditionally, pilots rely on their line of sight and instructions from air traffic control to avoid collisions. Developed within the framework of SESAR by members Honeywell, Airbus, Dassault and Eurocontrol, the solution “traffic alerts for pilots for airport operations” - a software-based system - provides early warning to aircrews, empowering pilots to make quicker decisions and avoid runway incursions. Specifically the system analyses aircraft position data and calculates factors, such as time to collision, through specialised algorithms to alert pilots of surrounding aircraft. The system provides timely surface traffic indications and warnings to the flight crew. These include visual awareness on the airport moving map display in the cockpit as well as an audio alarm. The pilot receives a text message showing time to collision, colour-coded image, and aural message.

The solution is designed to require minimal changes to existing avionics and uses automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), a globally mandated technology upgrade due by 2020, to make installation of the solution quick and simple. The solution is equally applicable to commercial aircraft and business aircraft. Its success depends on the performance and quality reception of broadcast ADS-B aircraft data and compliance with the relevant standards.

The work covers two implementation options for the runway: one which provides a warning, plus a second which adds cautions and indications. A third option provides alerts, cautions, and indications on the taxiways. The aim is to prepare the solution for industrialisation and deployment by the end of 2019.

Find out more

•           SURF-IA (Honeywell press release/Airbus video)

•           SAFE

This project has received funding from the SESAR Joint Undertaking under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 734139