Honeywell, in partnership with Airbus, Dassault, and Eurocontrol, has completed initial testing of SURF IA, a system that uses ADS-B Out and In technology to give pilots visual and audio warnings of potential runway conflicts.
SURF IA (Situational Awareness on the Airport Surface with Indications and Alerts), also known as Surface Indications and Alert system, takes runway incursion warning systems a step further by adding visual and audible alerts of other aircraft and providing time-to-collision warnings.
“Traditionally, pilots have relied entirely on their line of sight and instructions from air traffic control to avoid collisions,” Honeywell explained.
"There are no independent avionics systems on the market today that can help avoid runway accidents and collisions," said Mike Stewart, vice president, advanced technologies, Honeywell Aerospace.
Honeywell’s earlier incursion-prevention system, Runway Awareness and Advisory System (RAAS), was a software update to the Primus Apex or Epic avionics suite’s Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS). Designed to improve pilots’ situational awareness during takeoff and landing, RAAS provides advisories when it appears a pilot might be trying to take off from a taxiway, when the aircraft is approaching the runway or taxiing on the runway, runway distance remaining, etc.
SmartRunway and SmartLanding are the next evolution of RAAS and add more features, such as alerts when takeoff flaps are not set; the runway selected for landing is too short; the aircraft has been in an extended hold on a runway; there is insufficient runway remaining; an approach is unstable; the aircraft may be landing on a taxiway; and more.
“SURF IA allows us to take our existing technology a step further by helping reduce the risk of an incident with other aircraft on the runway,” said Stewart. By analyzing position data of other aircraft at the airport, SURF IA “calculates factors, such as time to collision, through specialized algorithms to alert pilots of surrounding aircraft.
“With solutions such as Honeywell's SmartRunway, SmartLanding, and now SURF IA, we are pioneering accident prevention through better pilot awareness, less latency in decision-making, and quicker actions. SURF IA allows us to take our existing technology a step further by helping reduce the risk of an incident with other aircraft on the runway.”
Honeywell and its partners’ initial testing of SURF IA is part of research done under the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research program.