The Comair accident may help accelerate the implementation and even mandating of additional situational awareness aids such as automatic dependent surveillance - broadcast (ADS-B) or, in the nearer term, Honeywell's runway awareness and advisory system (RAAS).

The RAAS system works with Honeywell's MkV and VII enhanced ground proximity warning systems (EGPWS) and compares the aircraft's actual satellite-derived position against a regularly updated database containing 1,700 runways. In the case of the Comair event the RAAS would have provided "three warnings" to the crew, says Honeywell, including confirmation of the runway length and identity (runway 26 rather than 22), and the distance remaining.

ADS-B is gradually being implemented by the FAA, with the first contracts for setting up the surveillance and broadcast infrastructure expected to be awarded around July 2007. The infrastructure in the USA is not due for completion until 2012-13 and some companies such as avionics specialist ACSS hope to accelerate implementation. The company's SafeRoute system, which includes a surface area movement management function, is due to start flight tests with UPS before year-end.

Source: Flight International