The baseline application for SafeRoute+ is Enhanced Airborne Traffic Situational Awareness or AIRB. When surveyed, 84 percent of pilots reported that ADS-B In enhances their situational awareness, and 15 percent identified traffic ground speed as the most useful piece of information. AIRB provides the flight identification, altitude, ground speed, vertical speed, track angle and wake category for aircraft up to 100 nautical miles away. This information creates an environment of shared situational awareness and aids the crew in visual acquisition of traffic.
ACSS, an L3Harris Technologies and Thales company, announced the certifications for the SafeRoute+ ADS-B In retrofit solution for airlines. The FAA granted the Technical Standard Order (TSO) authorization for the SafeRoute+ software and the new ADS-B Guidance Display (AGD) sold by ACSS and developed by L3Harris. The STC has also been issued for SafeRoute+ software and hardware installation on the American Airlines A321 fleet.
AIRS is a formal, collaborative effort between the FAA, American Airlines and ACSS to promote the early adoption of ADS-B In applications by fielding and evaluating a cost-effective retrofit solution. This functionality also plays an important role in Air Traffic Management as it helps air traffic controllers by reducing their workload and is another technology that helps increase airport throughput without expanding the footprint of the airport.
“Airlines have spent a lot of money equipping their aircraft with ADS-B Out so that air traffic controllers have better aircraft data to route flights safely and more efficiently,” said Terry Flaishans, President of ACSS. “This program enabled us to work side-by-side with pilots and the FAA to develop a viable retrofit solution that enables airlines to take advantage of that same information; thereby enhancing safety, enabling better decision making and ultimately greater airport efficiency.”
AIRS was launched under a memorandum of agreement signed in July 2016 to promote the early adoption of ADS-B In application by fielding a cost-effective retrofit solution that can be applied to a large percentage of the market for the operational evaluation of select ADS-B In applications.
“We have demonstrated the system with numerous pilots in our simulators, specifically to solicit feedback during the development phase to ensure it was easy to learn and use by the pilots,” said Chuck Manberg, Technical Fellow and Lead ADS-B engineer at ACSS. “The operational and human factors research was instrumental in making SafeRoute+ affordable and adoptable.”
The AIRS program will evaluate specific ADS-B In applications by collecting operational data and performing benefit analysis for eventual reporting to the industry.