Honeywell is using the Paris air show to launch a new approach and landing safety product designed to reduce the risk of runway overruns following unstabilised approaches that cause badly executed landings.

Honeywell's SmartLanding system is a software extension of its enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) and provides pilots on any kind of approach with appropriate visual and audible advice if the approach is unstable at less than 1,000ft (300m) above airfield elevation.

The avionics maker estimates the cost of overrun incidents to the US industry alone has been $900 million over the past 10 years.

Honeywell's EGPWS terrain awareness and warning system is already installed in thousands of commercial jets and turboprops and is based on the marriage of precise satellite navigation with a terrain database containing detailed airport and runway data to monitor in three dimensions the position of the aircraft relative to any given runway and independent of ground-based navigation aids.

The SmartLanding system operates during the final part of the approach, from 1,000ft above airfield elevation. It provides the pilot with alerts - visual and voice, such as "too high, too high" - if it is above or below the correct approach angle, left or right of the lateral approach path toward the runway, and too fast or slow.

The system also generates a "long landing" alert if the aircraft touches down beyond the touchdown zone. It also has the ability to compare the barometric altitude with the GPS altitude measured by the EGPWS, thus detecting altimeter setting errors.

Honeywell says the system is available now, and does not need special certification because it is an advisory device based on the tried and tested EGPWS functionality. The company says that the list price of the SmartLanding capability as an additional component in its own right the would be $25,000, but most anticipated orders would come from those who were adding the new capability as part of a system update, making the real price lower.

Source: Flight International