Honeywell last month announced that it has delivered more than 30,000 enhanced ground proximity warning systems (EGPWS), placing the safety gear in rarefied air among the top sellers of all time in stand-alone avionics units.
“EGPWS has been one of the biggest success stories in the history of aviation, but its business success is only a part of its total success story,” said Frank Daly, president of Honeywell Air Transport Systems. Perhaps the bigger story, said Daly, is that EGPWS is “contributing immensely” to air safety.
Daly said that since the introduction of EGPWS in 1996 Honeywell has received reports of “more than 30 incidents where the EGPWS gave an alert and provided pilots with timely awareness of terrain in situations that could have otherwise ended much less happily.”
As a result of EGPWS, the risk of CFIT is now 50 times less in North America and Western Europe than it was in 1991, according to Honeywell estimates. In fact, there has not been a single CFIT-related crash of an EGPWS-equipped airplane. Unfortunately, the CFIT rate since 1991 is unchanged or even higher in parts of Asia, South America and Africa, where EGPWS installations are not as prevalent, said Daly.