The Chennai International Airport will use the help of satellite-based technology for precision approach and landing of aircrafts. For this, it will implement, on a pilot basis, Honeywell’s SmartPath Ground-Based Augmentation System, which uses GPS satellite data to provide accurate guidance to aircraft on approach, enabling them to fly a wide range of closely spaced, complex approaches to increase arrival capacity.

SmartPath can handle up to 26 separate approaches across four runways simultaneously, as against the traditional Instrument Landing Systems that supports one approach at one end of a single runway, says a company press release.

SmartPath, which the company claims is the world’s only Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, was selected by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

With growing passenger numbers across India expected to reach 540 million annually by 2025, SmartPath will support future demand at Chennai airport by reducing delays and journey times for passengers, lowering operational costs for airlines, and increasing traffic throughput at the airport, says the release.

The pilot project is being led by the AAI in collaboration with the US-India Aviation Cooperation Programme and with partial funding from the US Trade and Development Agency.

The AAI plans to install further GBAS infrastructure at other Indian airports in the coming years as part of its air traffic management upgrade program.

Honeywell, in collaboration with the FAA and USTDA, will provide technical assistance and training to support SmartPath’s certification by India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

raja.simhan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 8, 2013)
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