Honeywell Completes Initial Testing of SURF IA Software

Frankfurt International Airport, photo courtesy of Frankfurt International Airport.


Honeywell has completed the initial testing phase of its new aircraft software, the Surface Indications and Alert System (SURF IA), designed to aid pilots in avoiding runway accidents and collisions.

SURF IA was developed by Honeywell Aerospace under a SESAR research program partnership with Airbus, Dassault and Eurocontrol. The software uses a combination of ADS-B, algorithms and flight data analysis to give pilots visual and audio warnings about approaching hazards on the runway.

SESAR partnered with Honeywell on the development of the new software under a research project between the Eurocontrol and industry in an effort to reduce runway incursions. Eurocontrol’s published an action plan in 2017 designed to improve runway safety, showing that runway incursions occur in Europe at least two times a day.

“There are no independent avionics systems on the market today that can help avoid runway accidents and collisions. With solutions such as Honeywell’s SmartRunway®, SmartLanding® and now SURF IA, we are pioneering accident prevention through better pilot awareness, less latency in decision-making and quicker actions,” said Mike Stewart, vice president, advanced technologies, Honeywell Aerospace.

Airport surface traffic indications and alerts are provided with visual awareness on an airport moving map display and aural alert messaging on the primary flight display. Flight testing of SURF IA was also performed under 50 different scenarios on a Falcon F900EX at five different airports in July 2017, according to a presentation on the software given by Honeywell engineers at the 2018 World ATM Congress.

Honeywell wants to move SURF IA into prototype testing before beginning full scale production development. The system is described as an upgrade requiring “minimal changes to existing avionics” by Honeywell. The company has not yet indicated when the new software will be available commercially.

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