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Australia leads development of world-first satellite navigation system.

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Warren Truss Minister for Transport and Regional Services Deputy Leader of The Nationals


DOTARS06/042WT 11 April 2006

Australia leads development of world-first satellite navigation system

Airservices Australia has signed a multi-million dollar contract with Honeywell International to develop a sophisticated precision aircraft landing system, Australian Government Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Warren Truss, said today.

Mr Truss said the system will enable the transition to satellite-based navigation for all aircraft types - signalling a critical milestone for the aviation industry.

“The world-first satellite system will deliver faster, safer and cheaper aircraft navigation.

“Trials have been conducted on the system with Qantas and Sydney Airport Corporation Ltd over the past six months. Sydney will be the first airport to have the system fitted.

“Airservices and Honeywell have combined to develop a unique ground-based landing system that will be attractive to many countries around the world.”

“This core technology has been around for 10 years, and I am delighted Australia has taken the lead to bring it to commercial reality.”

Mr Truss said several international airlines have already fitted the avionics for the system to their aircraft and have been waiting for an aviation authority to step forward and develop the ground stations required to complete the system.

“Honeywell are global leaders in Ground-based Augmentation System (GBAS) which is designed for major airports. The company was also awarded the design contract for Airservices Ground-based Regional Augmentation system (GRAS), a low-cost regional version of GBAS for regional airlines and general aviation markets.

Mr Truss said GBAS would provide significant safety, operational and environmental (noise-abatement) benefits for Australian aviation and Airservices and Honeywell plan to market the system to airports worldwide.

“GBAS will eventually provide all weather landing using satellites while GRAS will lower pilot workload and offer positive vertical guidance including in areas of difficult terrain,” he said.

The agreement with Honeywell is to finalise software development and assist in the certification of both systems over the next two years.

The results of the Sydney GBAS trials had exceeded expectations with a high degree of accuracy and stability during the approach phase of a flight. Airservices now plans to introduce GRAS trials in Australia once certification is completed, Mr Truss said.


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