Honeywell Aerospace is imploring business jet operators who have not yet installed Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment on their aircraft to do so as a matter of urgency, with compliance deadlines now fast approaching.
In addition to reminding customers of the need to act fast and promoting its ability to support the necessary upgrades, Honeywell will maintain a strong focus on both its in-flight connectivity services and its expanded maintenance programme during EBACE.
"We are reminding customers about the looming deadline for the ADS-B mandate. A good proportion of our customers have not yet done the upgrade and EBACE is a good opportunity to remind them of the importance of the deadline," Raghed Talih, director for Middle East, Turkey, India and Africa at Honeywell, tells Flight Evening News.
"Honeywell is very well-equipped to support the upgrades and we've been working on being ready for a number of years."
As part of the Federal Aviation Administration's NextGen initiative, all business jets will have to be fitted with ADS-B equipment to fly in controlled airspace by 1 January 2020. A similar requirement in Europe will follow in June 2020. The technology allows air traffic controllers to more accurately chart the position of aircraft.
In the USA, "more than 70%" of business jet operators have carried out the required upgrades so far, says Talih. European operators are "a bit less prepared" and while some did the work "a couple of years back to have peace of mind", others have held off in the hope that the deadline would be extended.
"There is no intention to move the existing deadline," says Talih, noting that some operators in Africa and the Middle East were "under the impression that [the mandate] wouldn't apply" to them. He says it is "all about education" to hammer home the message that this work needs to be done, and points to the "seamless integration" benefits of going through an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) such as Honeywell, rather than a third party.
Talih accepts that some operators of older business jets "don't intend to fly" these aircraft after the deadline and are not investing in making the upgrades because they plan to "part them out" instead. His message to operators that do not fall into this category is: "Don't delay – do it now."
The cost to equip aircraft will go up rather than down as the deadline approaches, according to Talih. "On the cost side, we've always had a consistent message. It's going to [get] higher because service centres will be so occupied that they will ask a premium," he says, adding that "to those who haven't done it yet, we're ready".
Honeywell works with Danish aftermarket services company Satair on its ADS-B programme. Airbus-owned Satair is responsible for inventory management and supply of ADS-B systems on business aircraft featuring Honeywell's Primus II avionics suite.
Satair was also recently appointed to distribute Honeywell's JetWave high-speed, in-flight connectivity system to maintenance, repair and overhaul providers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. In-flight connectivity and the "connected aircraft" will be another key theme for Honeywell at EBACE, says Talih. Its JetWave hardware, which is powered by Inmarsat's Ka-band GX satellite network, is installed on "hundreds of business jets" and is "working really well", he notes.
With the combination of JetWave and Honeywell's GoDirect suite of connectivity services, the aerospace company believes it is well-positioned to embrace the connected aircraft concept and extend the benefits of in-flight connectivity from the aircraft cabin to the cockpit, resulting in greater operational efficiency.
"We are using fantastic connectivity solutions to do much more than cabin services," says Talih, pointing to the GoDirect Flight Planning platform. Flight Planning integrates scheduling software, flight tracking, charts and flight planning into a single platform, and Talih says that new features will be announced soon.
Honeywell believes its Connected Aircraft initiative has the potential to "revolutionise modern-day flying" and "dramatically improv[e] fleet management, flight safety, passenger and crew experience, mission effectiveness, maintenance, flight operations, aircraft turnaround time and costs".
In addition to promoting its ADS-B compliance and in-flight connectivity services at the show, Honeywell will place a strong emphasis on its Maintenance Service Plan (MSP), says Talih.
The MSP programme has been expanded from its auxiliary power unit (APU) and avionics core to cover a range of mechanical components, with maintenance coverage now including the cockpit, environmental systems, cabin pressure control systems and avionics.
"This programme has always been popular and there will be a lot of focus on that," says Talih.
Honeywell's MSP programme has been in operation for over 40 years and supports more than 80 aircraft platforms.