Honeywell is calling for greater cooperationbetween the U.S. and Europe as the two prepare for the deployment of future air traffic management (ATM) technologies. Warning that capacity in the skies over North America could become stretched to the limit without such cooperation, Honeywell also asked lawmakers in Washington to get serious about ATM funding soon.
Dean Flatt, president and CEO of Honeywell’s aerospace electronic systems division, said thecompany’s internal research has shown that without changes to the current ATC system in the U.S.,sector congestion will lead to unavoidable chokepoints across the country by 2024. He said that as airline traffic levels continue to rebound, traveldelays in the near term inevitably will worsen.
“We feel that it is important to get serious about increasing en route capacity now,” Flatt said. “Europe has taken on this issue as an imperative, but in the U.S. there does not seem to be the same urgency to get things done.”
Honeywell has asked U.S. lawmakers to support ATM modernization efforts as a way to help struggling airlines save money. The company’s plan calls for ATM overhaul centers on satellite-based navigation and other technologies that will allow the FAA to decommission most of the 1,000-plus ground-based navaids in the U.S. and replace them with a Free Flight-like operating regime where airplanes would fly on the most efficient routes and atoptimum altitudes. Honeywell claims modernization would generate fuel savings for airlines of morethan $600 million a year.