Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport has tested a new GPS-based system that might be able to reduce flight delays by enhancing takeoff and landing efficiency.

Honeywell Aerospace’s SmartPath precision landing system is said to be the only precision landing system that has a certification of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The test was aimed at demonstrating how a GPS-based precision landing system called Ground-Based Augmentation Systems (GBAS), can help in enhancing the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations, especially during poor-weather conditions.

Honeywell said that the technology would enable the airport increase capacity, decrease air traffic noise and weather-related delays and reduce operating costs for both aircraft operators and air navigation service providers.

"China’s air traffic has grown exponentially over the years, driven by domestic and international travel."

It has been estimated by the International Air Transport Association that by 2016, China will have close to 415 million fliers every year.

Honeywell Aerospace vice president, Airlines for Asia Pacific Brian Davis said: "China’s air traffic has grown exponentially over the years, driven by domestic and international travel.

"The adoption of Honeywell’s SmartPath at Shanghai Pudong International Airport marks a milestone for the modernisation of air traffic management in China, where this new technology can ease aircraft delays, reduces emissions and improves airport efficiencies in one of the fastest growing economies in the world."

Honeywell said that GBAS will help in reducing tarmac congestion and increasing airport turnover by eliminating the need for taxiing aircraft to wait for others to take off. It is also said to provide precision approach capabilities to all runways at an airport which will remove the need for multiple ILS systems for different runways and reduce flight inspections and maintenance costs.

SmartPath is also fail operation, which means that in case any part of it fails during operation, it will still be safe to use.

The Pudong Airport used the system to assist the landing and takeoff of a China Eastern Airlines Airbus 320 and a Shandong Airlines B737, reported Chinanews.com.

Image: The cost-effective SmartPath can help in increasing airport capacity, decrease air traffic noise and reduce weather-related delays. Photo: courtesy of Honeywell Aerospace.