NBAA Convention News

Smartpath GBAS Eases Approach to Challenging Airports

 - November 24, 2015, 5:00 AM

Honeywell Aerospace will be releasing a third generation of software for its FAA-certified ground-based satellite augmentation system (GBAS) Smartpath. The software enhances the system for guiding aircraft to safe landings in challenging weather and low visibility at airports that, because of atypical terrain, are not good candidates for land-based precision landing systems. SmartPath is installed at 15 airports around the world, among them Chennai, India; Frankfurt, Germany; Houston and Newark, USA; Shanghai, China; and Sydney, Australia.

The new Block II software update allows users to configure the system for optimum availability and number of approaches to the airport (as many as 48 for each ATC station), maximizing efficiency for both ATC and operators. Honeywell is also offering an optional Block II-S upgrade that can mitigate GPS errors at the satellite level. The Block II-S upgrade is expected to support specially authorized Category II operations without the need for any changes to Category I equipment on the aircraft that use it. While Block II is a software-only upgrade, Block II-S does require a hardware update to SBAS-capable GPS receivers and antenna. Honeywell expects the upgrades to be available to customers before year-end.

Fans for Gulfstreams

In other news Honeywell announced that it is now offering Gulfstream V operators an avenue to meet the ICAO, EASA and FAA mandated Fans 1/A+ requirements. The upgrade comes by way of existing hardware, and is the only fully integrated, newly certified path for Fans compliance that has been developed by Honeywell and Gulfstream for specifically for the aircraft. The upgrade will enhance safety and efficiency across the Atlantic Ocean. 

In rotorcraft news, Honeywell announced it has STC’d its Aspire 200 satellite communications system for the AgustaWestland AW139. This is the first system to allow AW139 operators SwiftBroadband service through Inmarsat-4 satellites.

“The high-data-rate Aspire 200 is a cost-effective, lightweight and highly capable system for helicopter operators,” said Tom Hart, vice president of defense and space for Honeywell Aerospace. The Aspire 200 works by using proprietary software to solve the problem of rotor blades interfering with satellite transmission.