[Avionics Today 06-10-2015] Honeywell and Boeing have successfully demonstrated how airports that experience frequent visibility issues such as low cloud cover or fog will be able to implement future Honeywell SmartPath versions that enable these Category III (CAT III) landings to reduce delays and diversions due to bad weather.
Using Honeywell’s SmartPath Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS), Boeing used its ecoDemonstrator 787 flight-test airplane to complete 12 CAT III approaches and landings at Boeing’s test facility in Moses Lake, Wash. The aircraft also used Honeywell’s Integrated Navigation Receiver (INR), which integrates the instrument landing signal, VHF omnidirectional range marker beacon, and GBAS landing system navigation signals into a compact and more efficient unit.
“Using the capability of today’s aircraft and the precision of global-based navigation, airlines can now land in very low-visibility weather conditions,” said Jeanne Yu, director of environmental performance at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “This improves operational efficiency, saves fuel and reduces carbon dioxide emissions.”
To successfully complete the CAT III approaches, which involve performing landings automatically in difficult conditions including fog, clouds, rain or other weather phenomena with a ceiling allowing no decision height and a minimum runway visual range of as low as 150 feet, Honeywell upgraded the software of the 787 INR and SLS-4000 SmartPath GBAS to support the additional CAT III monitoring and availability requirements.