Airservices is Australia's air navigation service provider - we provide air traffic control, aviation rescue and fire fighting and air navigation services.

How it works and benefits

Honeywell SmartPath corrects GPS errors and provides vertical and horizontal guidance to suitably equipped aircraft for precision approach and landings, initially to Category I (CAT-I) and eventually to Category III (CAT-III) standards.

The Honeywell SmartPath ground station is installed at an airport and consists of four reference receivers which collect navigation data from GPS satellites, a processor which provides corrections for GPS errors, GBAS-specific information as well as final approach path point and a VHF data broadcast unit to transmit digital data to aircraft.

The data transmitted by Honeywell SmartPath is received by the aircraft GNSS Landing System (GLS) to improve the accuracy of aircraft positioning and provide guidance for precision approach and landings. The GLS interfaces with cockpit displays and aircraft systems, such as autopilot or flight director.

Benefits

To take advantage of the benefits Honeywell SmartPath provides, aircraft need to be equipped with the technology and pilots trained to use it. The Honeywell SmartPath guidance information is displayed to the pilot as it would be using an ILS. Pilot actions for GLS approaches are exactly the same for ILS approaches. This eliminates the need for any dedicated Honeywell SmartPath pilot training. The only significant difference between an ILS and GLS approach, for a pilot, is they dial in a Honeywell SmartPath channel number rather than and ILS radio frequency.

The system can  provide significant safety, capacity, efficiency and environmental benefits for airlines, airports and air navigation service providers.

For airlines, the benefits of Honeywell SmartPath include less flight disruptions and associated cost caused by ILS interference and requires minimal pilot training to achieve this.

Airports will also benefit from improved airport capacity from accurately-guided, simultaneous operations to parallel runways and reduced runway exit times therefore increasing capacity. The flexibility of where the Honeywell SmartPath station is located leads to improved airport access as only one area on an airport is required for the system’s infrastructure to be installed.

By using GBAS at an airport, air navigation service providers (air traffic control) can obtain reduced traffic delays and congestion as a result of more efficient and predictable approaches, reduced capital investment cost and lower ongoing maintenance as one Honeywell SmartPath covers all runways at an airport compared to one ILS installation required for each runway end, easier and less frequent flight calibration inspections when compared with ILS and continued operations even during routine flight inspection or airport works.