Andrzej Jeziorski/MUNICH

Honeywell has carried out a flight inspection of its SLS-2000 satellite landing system (SLS) and expects to gain approval for initial Special Category I (SCAT I) operations by January 1998.

Flight inspection will take place at Newark, using a Honeywell-owned Cessna Citation V business jet. The first user will be Continental Airlines, which will initially operate one specially equipped Boeing MD-80 to Minneapolis and Newark airports, where the necessary ground stations have already been installed.

Continental will have to fly a series of satellite approaches with its MD-80 at both these airports to qualify for standard type certification before operational approval, says Honeywell.

Although the initial approval will only cover the airline's use of the equipment at these two airports, it will be a significant milestone towards eventual public-use approval, says Honeywell, which is working with United Airlines on a programme to equip the airline's fleet and validate the system. United will be the first airline to use a multi-mode receiver.

Honeywell's SLS became the first satellite landing system to win FAA type acceptance on 6 August. The system is based on a differential global-positioning system (DGPS), developed jointly with Pelorus of Canada, which increases the accuracy of satellite-signals fornavigation signals received by the aircraft with signals from the airport-based ground station.

The system provides SCAT1 guidance "to all runway ends within a 30nm [55km] radius" of the ground station. In future, the system will be Category I and II capable with growth to Category III, enabling variable-geometry precision approaches and departures.

Honeywell hopes to begin broadcasting public-use signals in 1998.

Source: Flight International