Honeywell accelerates “third set of eyes” software to enhance runway safety

by | Jun 13, 2024 | Flight Ops IT

2023 was the highest year in a decade for serious runway incursion events per one million airport operations. With runway incursions on the rise, Honeywell has accelerated development of its Surface Alert software. The alert system leverages GPS data, automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) equipment, and advanced analytics to detect the accurate location of potential hazards.

Thea Feyereisen, Senior Technical Fellow, Honeywell Aerospace Technologies, described pilots as “the last line of defence” against runway incursions and Surface Alert, or SURF-A can act as their “third set of eyes” in the cockpit of aircraft.

Helping to improve situational awareness and reduce risks of runway incursions, SURF-A gives pilots real-time aural and visual alerts if they’re on a trajectory to collide within 30 seconds, accessing data directly from the ADS-B Out equipment on aircraft and ground vehicles.

Feyereisen also said:

“In general, airlines are hesitant to buy a safety system unless it’s mandated. So we’re looking into ways to incentivise airlines to equip smart runway technology.”

With plans to have SURF-A certified within 18-24 months and airlines showing interest in the technology, Honeywell have extended this beyond a research project, looking to offer it for retrofit and as well forward fit aircraft.


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