Honeywell Awarded FAA Research Project to Evaluate and Demo 4-Dimensional Flight Trajectory-Based Operations

Honeywell has finalized a research agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to evaluate and demonstrate NextGen Air Traffic Management technology that will allow aircraft to fly more direct routes to save on fuel and emissions and arrive in a precise location at a precise time—improving on-time arrivals and reducing delays into airports.

4-Dimensional Flight Trajectory-Based Operations will incorporate precise timing and accurate data position to improve air traffic operations. 4-D Trajectory management includes time as the fourth dimension in aircraft trajectories. Aircraft will automatically fly faster or slower to avoid congestion into airports, smoothing traffic flow and improving capacity.

Honeywell, a leader in flight management systems and precision navigation technology, will demonstrate the benefits and work with FAA to define standards of 4-D Flight Management Systems Trajectory Based Operations, which is expected to increase the overall predictability of traffic, with benefit to airlines and air traffic management.

When 4-D trajectories are implemented, both pilot and air traffic control workload will be improved by reducing the need for changing speed commands and intermediate level off during descent. With much more precise aircraft location data than is available today, pilots will utilize more direct approaches to save fuel and emissions, and the spacing between planes can be improved to better predict arrival times.

—Chad Cundiff, vice president, Crew Interface Products, Honeywell Aerospace

Honeywell and the FAA will leverage existing technology and FMS capabilities used on Boeing and Airbus fleets as a starting point to defining new standards to meet new requirements for 4-D. Work is expected to begin in 2010 for an initial 12-month time period.

Honeywell is also carrying out similar manufacturing and research projects for Europe’s future air traffic management program SESAR (single European sky ATM research). Honeywell has developed a number of technologies to drive modernization of the global air traffic management system.

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