Honeywell and Hughes Aerospace improve flight procedures at Tacloban Airport

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Manila, Philippines – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has signed a formal agreement with Honeywell Aerospace and Hughes Aerospace Corporation to develop performance-based navigation procedures for Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban that will enable safer, more reliable and consistent operations under all weather conditions.

The new navigation procedures will be used to improve aid, relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts for the Leyte region, Tacloban and the surrounding areas following the catastrophic effects of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Honeywell and Hughes will absorb the entire cost of the development of these approaches at the airport to ensure that the flow of relief supplies is not impacted.

“The effects of Typhoon Haiyan were catastrophic for the people of Leyte and the Tacloban regions. Additionally, when the airport’s sole navigational aid was lost, it made safe and efficient recovery efforts even more difficult. Honeywell is pleased to share its expertise in safety technology to support the rebuilding efforts,” said Brian Davis, vice president, Airlines, Asia Pacific, Honeywell Aerospace. “We will continue to provide our support to the government through this difficult period to ensure the necessary navigational systems are in place to help with recovery and relief efforts.”

The new performance-based navigation (PBN) approaches will allow Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport to move away from legacy ground-based navigation aids to satellite-based technologies using area navigation procedures. This will enable a lowering of the approach minimums that were in place before the disaster.

This shift in systems will allow aircraft carrying relief supplies to the Leyte region to fly a more stable and accurate flight path, allowing shorter and more direct routes as well as more efficient takeoffs and landings.

“The situation at Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport was severe as Typhoon Haiyan had completely destroyed the ground-based navigational aid. As a result, the only Instrument Flight Procedure serving Tacloban was lost, limiting the airport to daytime operations in fair weather, which could potentially limit recovery and relief efforts,” said Chris Baur, president and CEO, Hughes Aerospace.

“Honeywell and Hughes are partners in the global PBN movement, and working together we identified an opportunity to assist the Philippines, providing a reliable, all-weather solution that is safer and has greater capability than the VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) Instrument Flight Procedure it replaces,” said Chris Baur. “Our successful partnership with the Philippines government and airlines will play a major role in helping to rebuild the Leyte region.”

Benefits of Performance-Based Navigation Approach

Performance-based navigation is a general term that defines navigation performance requirements for an air traffic route, instrument procedure or defined portion of airspace. This strategy will address current limitations on air transportation capacity by making more efficient use of the airspace. The strategy bases its foundation on two key navigation concepts: Area Navigation and Required Navigation Performance.

Key advantages of PBN approach include better access to terrain-challenged airports; parallel runway, converging and adjacent airport operations; lower Minima resulting in fewer weather-related delays and diversions; reduced flight time due to optimized routing; and more reliable, repeatable flight paths.

According to World Disasters Report in 2013, Asia remains the continent most frequently affected, with 40.6 percent of all natural and or technological disasters between 2003 and 2013. Africa comes second with 24.4 percent of all disasters. It is therefore exceptionally important for a country’s infrastructure ranging from airports, trains and ports to roads, bridges and telecommunications networks to function even in times of emergency.

To contribute to the relief efforts for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, the Singapore Red Cross Society webpage has specific instructions on how you can contribute.