Rolle, Switzerland, Dec. 16, 2013 -- Honeywell Aerospace's SmartPath® Precision Landing System will be deployed by Frankfurt Airport to increase the speed and efficiency of landings and decrease air traffic noise.
SmartPath is the world's only certified Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) -- a technology that augments signals from the Global Positioning System (GPS) to make them suitable for precision approach and landing. It overcomes many of the limitations of Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) traditionally used by airports to guide aircraft as they approach the runway.
"With significant passenger growth occurring at many airports globally, the pressure on traditional ILS systems to support increasing traffic volumes is greater than ever before," said Pat Reines, senior product manager, SmartPath, Honeywell Aerospace. "Unlike ILS, GBAS supports multiple approaches simultaneously, reducing airspace congestion and lowering airport noise and emissions. For airports such as Frankfurt that are ambitious about growth, Honeywell's SmartPath GBAS represents a cost-effective, easy-to-install alternative to ILS."
Honeywell's SmartPath has certifications from the FAA and Germany's Federal Supervisory Authority for Air Navigation Services (BAF) and is already flying commercial flights into Germany at Bremen International -- one of more than 15 airports around the world to have opted to increase capacity and improve their operational efficiency with the system.
"A growing number of airports see GBAS as the future of precision approach," said Stefan Naerlich, Head of Navigation Services at Germany's air navigation service provider DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH. "DFS is a world leader in, and a driving force behind, the adoption of GBAS, and at Frankfurt we also have an ambitious global airport operator in Fraport, who supports us on this program."
Installation of SmartPath at Frankfurt is underway and the system is expected be ready to support commercial approaches in Q3 2014.
Supporting future growth at Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt Airport is Germany's largest international hub and the third busiest airport in Europe. In October 2013 it served a record 5.4 million passengers -- the highest October passenger figures in its history and an increase of 3.5 per cent over October 2012.
SmartPath will help support this growth in demand. Unlike ILS, which supports a single precision approach to one runway end, one SmartPath system can simultaneously provide up to 26 separate approaches covering all runway ends. This allows Air Traffic Control (ATC) to be more flexible with its approaches, increasing airport capacity and greater flexibility during different operating conditions.
SmartPath's digital architecture reduces airport maintenance costs as it does not require regular in-flight calibration as ILS does. It also increases runway throughput as aircraft are no longer required to "hold short" in order to prevent interference with the ILS beam.
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