FI2000: Three airports contract Honeywell for DGPS stations

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Honeywell has won contracts from two US airports and one German airport to install its SLS-3000 differential GPS ground stations, designed to meet FAA local area augmentation system (LAAS) performance criteria.

Awarding the installation contracts are Memphis Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Frankfurt-Main Airport, Germany's biggest.

The manufacturer says the three airports will be among the first to obtain public use Category I precision approach certification with the SLS-3000 LAAS installations.

The Memphis installation results from an agreement between Honeywell and Federal Express to allow FedEx to become the first airline to begin LAAS operations at various airports throughout the USA. FedEx will use the Memphis ground station as its certification base.

"Our SLS-3000 LAAS ground station enables the design of complex approaches and other flight procedures that minimise delays, flight time, airspace required for landing and noise impacts on airport neighbourhoods," says Honeywell's general manager for airport systems, Ed Wheeler.

Honeywell says its SLS-3000 ground station provides differential GPS navigational guidance for all phases of flight, including approach, landing, departure and missed-approach procedures.

It says a single ground station can provide Category I precision approaches to all runway ends at the airport where it is installed and that Honeywell's SLS station is at this stage the only operationally approved, fully commissioned differential GPS system.

The FAA has already awarded the SLS type acceptance for special Category I private use and Honeywell expects to win public-use certification for the system early in 2002.

Knows as LAAS by the FAA when used in a limited geographic area and as a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) by ICAO, SLS relies on ground stations that send position-correction information signals to receivers aboard aircraft in the vicinity of the airport.