[Avionics Today 03-14-2016] Honeywell Aerospace is bringing its SmartPath Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) to Punta Cana International Airport under a new agreement with the Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation. The GBAS technology is a digital precision navigation solution designed to increase airport capacity, decrease air traffic noise and reduce weather-related delays.
A computer generated rendering of an airplane runway approach using Honeywell's Smartpath system. Photo: Honeywell Aerospace.
SmartPath transmits digital data to the aircraft. Unlike the beams of energy sent by traditional Instrument Landing Systems (ILS), Honeywell’s GBAS is immune to interference from weather, other aircraft, and rugged terrain. The GBAS technology also helps increase operational efficiency, allowing an aircraft to fly either complex or straight-in approaches, which helps reduce fuel costs and unnecessary flight delays.
“We are committed to investing in the latest technologies to improve our airports’ infrastructure and make the Dominican Republic one of the safest destinations in the region,” said Alejandro Herrera, director general at the Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation. “As the most visited tourist destination in the Caribbean, this means we are well-equipped to provide greater assurance against unnecessary travel disruptions due to weather impacts on flights.”
The use of GBAS should prove to be beneficial at Punta Cana and could be useful at other airports throughout the region, as the FAA projects global air traffic to the Caribbean region
to increase 5 to 6 percent over the next two decades. That's second only to the Middle East in terms of projected air traffic growth rates by region over the next 20 years.
“As the skies of the Dominican Republic get busier and airport traffic rises, Honeywell SmartPath will help pilots land more efficiently and safely,” said Pat Reines, senior manager of SmartPath at Honeywell Aerospace. “This level of investment in GBAS technology will help the country’s airport infrastructure grow alongside its visitors’ appetite for travel to the region.”