FAA approve combined TCAS and TAWS
Aviation’s first two-in-one traffic and terrain awareness and warning system gained TSO authorization early last month, clearing the way for the first installations of the device, probably in May. Approval of T2CAS, a $170,000 (list price) safety system that combines TCAS 2000 with a class-A TAWS in a single box, represents the first certification of a product from Phoenix-based ACSS, a joint company owned by L-3 Communications and Thales. According to ACSS, T2CAS reduces weight, power consumption, space requirements and wiring by adding TAWS capability to the basic TCAS LRU, allowing operators to swap an existing TCAS 2000 with the new system. The list of T2CAS customers includes Aeromexico, FedEx, Northwest Airlines, the U.S. Customs Service and Virgin Express, along with “several others to be announced shortly.” The FAA is requiring TAWS installations in most turbine-powered airplanes by March 2005.