September 24, 2012
Today the Wall Street Journal published an article on Aviation Safety Technologies and its revolutionary SafeLand safety technology that helps prevent airliners from rolling off slippery runways. It mentions that four U.S. airlines, including American and Delta, are currently testing the concept.
The article reports that AST “has developed a system to provide pilots with more accurate information about conditions on the tarmac, particularly for landings in bad weather. By automatically retrieving and analyzing data already collected by aircraft sensors and onboard flight-control computers, Aviation Safety Technologies LLC seeks to give pilots what they sorely lack: standardized, real-time measurements of local braking conditions right before touchdown.”
The article also quotes Patrick Doyle, the Federal Aviation Administration’s top runway-safety official as saying: “It’s a wonderful technology, and we are pushing this very hard.” He called it superior to current methods, which can cause delays when specially equipped vehicles are sent to determine surface conditions. “You’re taking that runway out of service for a period of time,” Mr. Doyle says, maybe for as long as 20 minutes.
As the article says, “Early testing highlighted promising safety benefits, and the FAA is now planning a broader study to assess whether SafeLand could improve airlines’ on-time performance at busy airports. Mr. Dahl is confident it can.”