TCAS Update Reduces Risk for Airlines

Flying in a commercial aircraft is a lot safer thanks to TCAS, the Traffic Collision Avoidance System

Flying in a commercial aircraft is a lot safer thanks to TCAS, the Traffic Collision Avoidance System. Over the last quarter century, TCAS technology has prevented countless midair collisions and saved an untold number of lives.

Honeywell helped pioneer the development of TCAS technology. In fact, the FAA chose us to build and test the first commercial quality, preproduction TCAS II equipment that led to the first TCAS supplemental type certificate back in the late 1980s.

We remain an industry leader in aviation safety technologies. Our TCAS combines the most advanced technology, enhanced capability and superior performance to provide flight crews with warning of a potential collision and a clear course of action to avoid other aircraft in the surrounding airspace.

So it’s no surprise that we’re leading the way by helping our airline customers keep up with TCAS advancements that align with global air traffic management modernization initiatives. A key example is TCAS II Change 7.1, which addresses two safety issues. The change alters the current TCAS II aural warning “Adjust vertical speed, adjust,” to “Level off, level off” to simplify the pilot’s corrective action and corrects mid and late TCAS reversals with faster avoidance commands to provide an estimated four-times reduction in mid-air collisions.

The TCAS II Change 7.1 is mandated for aircraft operating in European airspace and is subject to a technical standard order issued by the FAA.

The Honeywell TCAS II Change 7.1 solution not only meets requirements for all current mandates and TSOs, it helps operators prepare for what is likely to come next – hybrid surveillance. Hybrid surveillance is an important feature of the SmartTraffic™ family of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B)-enabled technology hosted by Honeywell TCAS traffic computers.

Hybrid surveillance takes situational awareness to the next level by monitoring other aircraft’s ADS-B broadcasts which expands the detection range to over 200 nautical miles.   This passive monitoring technique combined with Honeywell’s Smart Interrogation technology at closer ranges improves safety in high-density traffic areas. With built-in hybrid surveillance capabilities as standard, our solution helps operators prepare for any future mandates.  

Learn more about TCAS upgrades by checking out our innovative Performance Accelerator, an intuitive one-stop shop that makes it easier than ever to get aircraft-specific information about service bulletins as well as retrofits, modifications and upgrades that can help you improve the safety, performance and cost-efficiency of your commercial aircraft fleet.