AlliedSignal Gets Major EGPWS Order

Farnborough, September 4 -- AlliedSignal announced receipt of a $20 million order from American Airlines for its Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System.

American is the first airline to place an order for the system, and plans to fit it on its fleet of 635 aircraft by mid-1999.

While ground proximity systems have been in use since the 1970's, until now no airline has been willing to step up to the plate for the enhanced system. AlliedSignal estimates that the EGPWS system can improve the warning time time by up to 4 times. The system makes use of an extensive database providing critical details for almost 95% of the world's terrain. The system reads information from the GPS or FMS system, whichever is in use, and calls up terrain data for the area. This data is displayed on a sweep screen with colors indicating elevations of the surrounding area for up to 320 miles.

Such a system could have helped prevent the Cali and Commerce Secretary Ron Brown crashes by providing up to 30 seconds earlier warning.

With one of the main causes of airline accidents being flight into the ground, American's $20 million investment in the safety of its passengers deserves not only a broad industry salute, but a rapid following of suit by others. After all, if the airlines can be so quick to adopt rate changes, they should certainly see the public relations benefit from enhanced ground proximity adoption.

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