Honeywell Aerospace has partnered with Boeing to demonstrate its new SmartPath navigation and landing technology for aircraft to land and take off in adverse weather conditions.

The technology will help airports reduce delays and diversions, and to operate on the runways during Category III (CAT III) weather conditions when the minimum visual range is as low as 150ft.

Honeywell’s SmartPath Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) was demonstrated on Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator 787, a flight test airplane used to assess technologies to reduce environmental footprint of the aviation industry.

"This improves operational efficiency, saves fuel and reduces carbon dioxide emissions."

A total of 12 CAT III approaches and landings were completed at Boeing’s test facility in Moses Lake, Washington, US.

Honeywell Aerospace chief technology officer Bob Smith said: "Honeywell has invented and tested a precision landing system that will not only alleviate crowded approaches and landings at airports, but will also give pilots the ability to land when they can’t see the runway, keeping airports and flights running efficiently."

The plane used the Honeywell Integrated Navigation Receiver (INR) to combine the instrument landing signal, VHF omnidirectional range marker beacon and GBAS landing system navigation signals, for creating a more efficient unit.

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During the demonstration, Honeywell upgraded the software of the 787 INR and SLS-4000 SmartPath GBAS to complete the CAT III approaches that include performing automatic landings during fog, clouds, rain or other difficult weather conditions.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes environmental performance director Jeanne Yu said: "Using the capability of today’s aircraft and the precision of global-based navigation, airlines can now land in very low-visibility weather conditions.

"This improves operational efficiency, saves fuel and reduces carbon dioxide emissions."

Image: The new technology will help airports reduce delays and diversions. Photo: courtesy of Honeywell International.