The first Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems (ACSS) combined terrain and traffic collision avoidance system (T2CAS) to be used commercially is expected to be fitted to a BAE Systems Avro RJ85 of Northwest regional partner Mesaba Airlines in late June under a joint ACSS/BAE Systems factory approved service bulletin.

The initial T2CAS will be fitted in Phoenix, Arizona, close to the headquarters of the joint L-3 Communications & Thales joint venture. The system, which received US Federal Aviation Administration approval in February, has also been selected by Airbus as supplier-furnished equipment on all new long-range, single-aisle and widebody aircraft except the A380. The agreement, a major strategic breakthrough for the fledgling avionics manufacturer, includes a schedule covering type certification before the end of 2004. However, aircraft will be provisioned for T2CAS before then and service bulletins for retrofit aircraft will be developed to "bridge the gap", says ACSS. First to take advantage of this will be Northwest Airlines, due to fit T2CAS to an A330-200 in 2004.

ACSS has also been selected by Fedex to provide T2CAS for its planned converted ATR 42 freighter fleet, and has begun work with ATR on an integration effort that will also include ATR 72s.

Source: Flight International