Air Transport World

A new cockpit presence: ACSS brings new competition to cockpit safety and communications systems.(Avionics)(Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems LLC)

Keeping airplane and ground separated until the meeting is expected and properly managed is, in intent, very similar to keeping airplane and airplane apart at all times. The technology employed to do these two jobs is very different, but to a pilot these now-essential functions have become part of a unified, cockpit-generated protective bubble around the aircraft.

>From the start, ground proximity warning system technology was available from only one source--first Sundstrand and now, through corporate evolution, Honeywell. The corporate owners of that patented technology have been very aggressive and very successful in blocking competing systems, believing for good reason that the innovator is entitled to the fruits of its invention. The advent of Enhanced GPWS, adding the comparison of GPS-derived position information with a digital geography database, improved safety yet still came from a single source.

TCAS, on the other hand, was available in several brands, but it was the market overlap among TCAS producers that caused regulators of the Honeywell/Allied Signal merger to require that one TCAS product be divested to maintain a level of competition. This consolidation of the airline supplier base spit out an anomaly: A new company, freshly minted with an established product and customer list, a worldwide sales and service network and an experienced staff.

The Honeywell TCAS 2000 product spinoff produced Aviation Communication & Surveillance Systems LLC, thankfully shortened to ACSS. …

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