CommutAir, Shuttle America Also Equip Planes With Aural
The Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) announced Friday it has reached agreements with three
additional US airlines to fund in-cockpit runway safety systems in
exchange for critical operational data. The data will help the FAA
evaluate the safety impact of this technology and is expected to
accelerate key safety capabilities necessary for the transition to
the Next Generation Air Transportation System.
Atlas Air Inc. received $510,000 to equip 17 aircraft with
electronic flight bags (EFBs), CommutAir received $544,000 to equip
16 aircraft with EFBs and Aural Alerting Systems, and Shuttle
America received $680,000 to equip 20 aircraft with EFBs and Aural
The surface moving maps with own-ship position and aural alert
systems will be used on flights to or from 21 testbed airports, as
well as other airports. The safety technology provides greater
situational awareness for pilots to help them avoid unsafe
operations on the airport surface.
In September, the FAA provided $600,000 each to SkyWest,
Piedmont, US Airways and Southwest Airlines to install the cockpit
"This technology is on every pilot’s wish list," said
Robert A. Sturgell, the FAA's acting administrator. "It's going to
be a big boost for runway safety. As a former airline pilot myself,
I can tell you putting these systems in the cockpit will raise
situational awareness considerably."
The technology will be installed in aircraft at each airline by
September 2009. By that time the agency also expects initial
results from the data analysis. Each agreement will remain in
effect through September 2011.
The FAA continues to review other proposals to deploy the
surface moving map or an approved aural runway safety alerting
system and expects to announce other awards. Twenty-two airlines
responded to the FAA's request for proposals to invest in the two
runway safety technologies.
The test bed airports were selected because they had a history
of runway incursions or runway safety issues. They are: Los
Angeles, Boston, Chicago (O'Hare), Newark, Cleveland, Ft.
Lauderdale, Houston (Hobby), Anchorage, San Francisco, Las Vegas
McCarran, Charlotte, Miami, Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Daytona
Beach, Phoenix, Dallas-Ft. Worth, New York (JFK and LaGuardia),
Atlanta and Seattle.