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Honeywell develops safety product to reduce runway excursions

Honeywell (NYSE:HON) announced today that it has launched a product that builds on existing Honeywell technologies to address runway excursions that will alert pilots if the aircraft's approach is unstable and at risk for an unsafe landing. Improving runway safety has been on the National Transportation Safety Board's "Most Wanted" safety improvement list since its inception in 1990.

"Runway excursions - when a plane travels off the runway -- cost the global industry about $900M every year," said Mike Madsen, Honeywell Aerospace Vice President, Airlines. "Honeywell's SmartLanding for airline and business aviation reduces that risk by providing alerts to pilots if the aircraft is approaching the runway too high, too fast or is not configured properly for landing - common components of an unstabilized approach."

Honeywell's SmartLanding is a software enhancement to Honeywell's proven Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS), installed on more than 30,000 airline and business aviation aircraft. Through a simple software upgrade to EGPWS, SmartLanding improves pilot situational awareness and helps break the chain of events that can lead to a runway excursion, by providing aural and visual alerts upon approach only if the aircraft has not met established safety criteria.

Using Global Positioning System (GPS) data, SmartLanding alerts are based on aircraft position, speed and flight path compared to airport runway locations stored in Honeywell's worldwide terrain and runway database, which has proven itself for more than 600 million flight hours.

"With both auditory alerts and visual messaging, Honeywell's system supports both heads-up and quiet cockpits," Smith said. "A stabilized approach does not trigger any alert, keeping the cockpit quiet."

SmartLanding complements Standard Operating Procedures and FOQA programs to improve safety by encouraging compliance with stabilized approach criteria:

-- Aircraft should be stable at 1000 feet above the field

-- Aircraft must be stable at 500 feet above the field

-- Aircraft is properly configured to land

-- Aircraft is on the correct vertical path

The SmartLanding feature includes callouts for long landing if the aircraft extends beyond a pre-determined touch down zone, together with callouts of runway distance remaining during landing and rollout. Also included is a check for inadvertent barometric altimeter correction errors, which continue to be a contributing factor in Controlled Flight Into Terrain accidents and incidents.

Press release issued by Honeywell Aerospace on June 15, 2009


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