Indian Carriers To Test SmartRunway and Electric Taxiing
Honeywell Aerospace signed agreements with two Indian airlines on the second day of the India Aviation show in Hyderabad. The first memorandum of understanding involves Air India agreeing to evaluate its SmartRunway/SmartLanding avionics system. The second was signed with GoAir, which has agreed to help with the development of the EGTS electric taxiing system jointly designed by Honeywell and Safran.
Air India is joining more than a dozen other airlines using the SmartRunway/SmartLanding system, which uses GPS location information and airport and object data stored in Honeywell’s enhanced ground proximity warning system database to determine if the aircraft is configured properly for landing, taxiing and takeoff. It is also intended to reduce the risk of runway incursions.
“As we expand our network, our pilots are required to fly into an ever-growing number of airports, many of which are continually changing layout,” said A. K Mathew, executive director of engineering, Air India. “SmartRunway/SmartLanding could make it easier for our pilots to navigate these airports regardless of visibility, and extend passenger safety even further in the process.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Air India will test SmartRunway/SmartLanding for six months and share operational data with Honeywell to enable the two companies to examine the potential safety gains the airline would see if it deployed the software across its entire EGPWS-equipped Boeing 777 fleet. Honeywell India customer business leader Sasi Kancharla told AIN that the trial is a good way to more clearly understand Air India’s requirements for the technology.
Meanwhile, GoAir is hoping to achieve the projected 4-percent saving in block fuel consumption from the EGTS electric taxiing system. “We are constantly looking for innovative ways to lower costs,” said Giorgio De Roni, CEO, GoAir. “This agreement allows us to actively participate in the system’s development, a technology [that] will improve aircraft turnaround times and lower noise and emissions in the airport environment.”
Under the agreement, GoAir will provide data on its taxiing operations to Honeywell and Safran to assist in maturing the system. The operator will have the chance to define the precise fuel and other operational benefits it expects to see by using the technology across its fleet. GoAir also will assist in establishing the airline standard operational procedures for aircraft equipped with the system.
EGTS uses electric motors on the main landing gear to enable the aircraft to push back autonomously and taxi without using its main engines to improve operational efficiency and slash emissions. The news follows an agreement reached by Honeywell and Safran with Airbus in December to jointly evaluate EGTS as an option for the company’s A320 family of airplanes.