New Delhi: Aviation technology firms are entering the Indian market in a big way, tying up with airlines like Air India, IndiGo and GoAir to provide critical components to enhance flight safety and run their businesses.

Air India today signed a MoU with major US firm Honeywell to upgrade the landing and take-off gears of its Boeing 777 fleet, while the two no-frill carriers joined Geneva-based SITA (Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques) for developing business technology solutions.

Honeywell’s ‘SmartRunway/SmartLanding’ upgrade, which is already in use on a large number of airplanes worldwide, would improve situational awareness for pilots, deliver safer landing and taxiing operations and lower cockpit workload across its Boeing 777 fleet, a company release said.

The upgrade helps mitigating runway accidents that cost the worldwide aviation industry USD one billion annually for injuries, damage, repairs and inspections.

Air India’s executive director (engineering) A K Mathew said, “As we expand our network, our pilots are required to fly into an ever-growing number of airports, many of which are continually changing in terms of layout. This system could make it easier for them to navigate these airports regardless of visibility and extend passenger safety even further.”

The Honeywell system uses GPS location information and airport and object data to determine if the aircraft is configured properly for landing, taxiing and take-off, thereby considerably reducing runway incursions or excursions.

Under the MoU, Air India would hold trials for six months and share operational data with Honeywell to enable both firms to examine the potential safety gains across its entire Boeing 777 fleet.

In another development, GoAir and IndiGo today became the latest Indian companies to join SITA, the air transport communications and IT specialist firm.

The other Indian airlines and airports which are already part of the SITA grouping are Air India, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and airport operators of Mumbai, Bangalore and Cochin.

The airports and airlines use SITA’s state-of-the-art technologies to optimise infrastructure and available resources, bolster security and improve operational efficiency and profitability.

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Free Press Journal