Airbus, Honeywell team on rebel runway safety venture: WSJ

SL2Airbus is understood to be collaborating with Honeywell to combine its ROPS runway safety regime with the US manufacturer’s SmartLanding system, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

ROPS measures speed, flight-control settings, altitude, runway topography, wind parameters and alert system and is installed in around 430 aircraft, but this new system will be an upgrade that is more advanced.

Honeywell’s SmartLanding system calculates the trajectory of the jet when it approaches the runway and if combined with ROPS would provide for more sophisticate pilot alerts.

Runway excursion – meaning either an aircraft veering off the side of the runway, or overrunning at the very end – remains the primary cause of civil airliner hull losses, particularly as other formerly prevalent categories of aircraft accidents have now largely been eliminated.

“Despite various industry-wide initiatives to enhance pilot awareness about the dangers of touching down too fast or too far down a runway – particularly in rainy or snowy conditions – Boeing and Airbus remain at loggerheads over the need for joint US-European technical standards for cockpit warnings to avoid such hazardous landing mistakes,” wrote Andy Pasztor in the Wall Street Journal.

“At public gatherings and in private discussions, the issue also has exposed unusual rifts between aviation authorities on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Since at least December, the FAA has resisted several pointed requests from Margaret Jenny, who runs the agency’s outside technical advisory organization, to join in studies already underway by European technical experts. Some of those experts have responded by saying they don’t need the FAA’s formal participation or blessing because many US  suppliers are participating in those studies anyway.”

Posted in Airports, News, Safety

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