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Strategic partnership in satellite navigation to make aviation safer, faster


CANBERRA (Airservices Australia) - Airservices Australia Chief Executive Officer, Greg Russell and the Vice President of Aerospace, Honeywell International, Scott Starrett today announced a landmark strategic partnership to introduce satellite-based landing systems into aviation.

"This is a first for Airservices and a bold step for aviation” said Mr Russell. “This partnership is a response to industry calls to find better, faster and safer ways of introducing new technologies, through an international collaborative approach."

Mr Starrett said Honeywell was very excited to enter into a strategic partnership with Airservices for the development and commercialisation of these new systems.

"Satellite-based navigation is a key enabler to future global air traffic management systems and will provide our mutual airline and airport customers with safer, more efficient, gate-to-gate operations especially in low visibility weather conditions," he said.

The system is a major advantage over the present navigation landing system and one that is expected to be marketed world-wide. Demand for its introduction has come from the airlines and industry world wide, which need to find new ways of improving efficiencies and reducing costs.

Traditional aircraft landing systems are based on technology developed in the 1940’s but this partnership will introduce satellite technology into precision landing systems. For aircraft to fully adopt satellite navigation, additional information is required to ensure the integrity and improve the accuracy from a satellite constellation such as GPS.

Satellites, which are typically 20,000 km above the earth and travelling at speeds of 3350 kms an hour, broadcast the same energy as a 25 watt light bulb. Augmentation systems provide a separate signal to the aircraft to correct and validate the satellite signals allowing aircraft to navigate and land safely.

Under the agreement, Airservices and Honeywell will develop software and commercialise two systems, which integrate together. The Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) will replace existing instrument landing systems at major airports, whilst Ground-based Regional Augmentation System (GRAS) introduces regional coverage for smaller commercial and general aviation

Combining these two systems not only provides a complete seamless solution for all aircraft types, it also provides sovereign control of airspace (essential in many parts of the world) in affordable modular blocks.

Whilst successful trials have already demonstrated both technologies, it will still take over two years to fast track the software development, as the software has to meet critical safety-of-life standards, requiring hundreds of man years of work.

Mr Russell said the project would result in a single gate-to-gate landing system that was seamless for aircraft, and forms part of a broader strategy the organisation is developing to introduce future air traffic management concepts.

"We have responded to industry demands and acted as the catalyst to enable the introduction of these new low cost systems," he said. "Now we hope airlines, airports, government and industry from Australia and around the world will work with ourselves and Honeywell to ensure this project is a success for all."

Support for the project has already come from the major aircraft manufacturers and international airline operators, as well as a number of countries in the south east Asian region.

Air Services Australia is a CAPA Member. For more information on the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation's membership service, please click the icon below.




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