Editor's Note


By Frank Wolfe | February 1, 2014
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UK Airports to Upgrade Air Traffic System

NATS, the U.K.’s air navigation service provider, has selected Northrop Grumman subsidiary Park Air Systems to provide ground-to-air communication solutions for up to 15 airports.   

Park Air was selected to provide a communications solution building upon existing infrastructure that will allow the airports to meet the 8.33 kHz channel spacing requirements set by EuroControl. Airports receiving the upgrades include Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. 

Wideroe Ready For Electronic Flight Bag Transition

Norwegian carrier Wideroe is ready to transition from paper-based flight operations to an electronic flight environment, signing a five-year Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) service agreement with Jeppesen, Boeing’s Digital Aviation subsidiary.

The airline will integrate Jeppesen’s iPad-based FliteDeck Pro EFB into its operations under the new agreement. The transition will provide significant weight savings and improve situational awareness.

Airbus, EGTS Evaluate A320 Electric Taxi

Airbus has signed an agreement with EGTS International to develop and evaluate an autonomous electric push-back and taxiing system for its A320 family aircraft.

Under the agreement, EGTS, a joint venture between Safran and Honeywell, will now have their Electric Green Taxiing System, eTaxi, evaluated as an aftermarket option for the A320. The eTaxi allows the aircraft to push back from the gate with no manual assistance and return to the gate after landing without operating the aircraft’s main engines.

“Today Airbus delivers the world’s most eco-efficient single-aisle aircraft – the A320 Family. This is the result of our permanent research for innovative enhancements to make our aircraft even more efficient and capable,” said Daniel Baubil, executive vice president of Airbus and head of the A320 program. “We therefore look forward to working with our EGTS International expert partners – Honeywell and Safran – with whom we share the common view that the A320 Family is a natural fit for an electric taxiing capability.”

“This MoU marks the next critical milestone in the advancement of the Electric Green Taxiing System as an option for Airbus’ A320 Family, by securing Airbus’ support in the development of the system,” said Brian Wenig, vice president of the EGTS program for Honeywell Aerospace.

Frankfurt Airport Adds GBAS Landing System

Honeywell Smartpath.
Photo: Honeywell

Frankfurt Airport will begin installing a Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) to replace its legacy Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) and accommodate for future increases in air traffic.

The airport will deploy Honeywell’s SmartPath, which has certifications from both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Germany’s Federal Supervisory Authority for Air Navigation Services (BAF). Deployment of SmartPath at Frankfurt has begun following recent flight tests of the system using a Dassault Falcon 900EX business jet equipped with GPS landing systems technology under a partnership between the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) program and Honeywell, Airbus, Thales and Germany’s air navigation service provider DFS.


Thales Airport Navigation System Ready for A320s

Cockpit of Airbus A320 on runway ready for takeoff. Photo: Thales.

Thales has not confirmed a date for the maiden flight, which will be the first time the OANS system flies on an aircraft other than the A380, which it debuted on in 2007.

OANS displays the aircraft position on a high-resolution geo-referenced map using an airport mapping database to give pilots directions to and from the gate.

“OANS brings a new level of comfort and functionality to pilots, providing them with an excellent visibility of the situation on the ground as well as helping them to navigate even more efficiently in airports they are totally unfamiliar with; from landing through to arrival at the gate, and vice-versa,” said Sébastien Perrignon, program director for the A320 family at Thales.

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