A new combination of Garmin products proposes to improve safety on and near the runway by improving pilot situational awareness. Announced this week at the National Business Aviation Association convention, the trio of products, dubbed Terminal Safety Solutions, is designed to reduce the number of runway incursions, traffic conflicts, and pilot deviations related to runways and taxiways, according to Garmin officials.
Newest of the products is SurfaceWatch, which provides visual and aural tools to help prevent pilots from taking off and landing on a taxiway, on a wrong runway, or a runway that is too short, according to Director of Media Relations Jessica Koss. Offered on the G2000, G3000, and G5000 integrated cockpits, the system will call out “runway too short” and present a visual message on the primary flight display if the pilot lines up on a runway that the information in the flight management system believes is too short for the airplane’s abilities. Line up on a different runway from which you have programmed the FMS and you’ll also get a message. Even in flight and approaching a runway, if it is not the one the FMS has been told to expect by the pilot, the system will alert. During takeoff, runway distance remaining is also displayed on the PFD. Audible distance remaining annunciations also can be turned on.
TerminalTraffic combines ADS-B traffic information from airplanes near the airport, on the airport, and ground vehicles to give a comprehensive picture to the pilot on or approaching the runway. Ground vehicles and taxiing aircraft are easily distinguishable from aircraft in flight. Audible alerts during takeoff and landing help call attention to potential conflicts. TerminalTraffic is available to pilots using one of Garmin’s installed or portable ADS-B systems displaying on compatible screens.
A special version of TerminalTraffic for helicopters reduces nuisance alerts when they are performing unique rotorcraft maneuvers, such as hovering.
SafeTaxi is the third system for improving situational awareness. SafeTaxi airport diagrams have been available for some time at more than 2,000 airports in the United States, Canada, and Europe, with more frequently added. The system shows the airplane’s georeferenced position on the diagram, allowing easier ground navigation by the pilot. The feature is available on many Garmin flight decks, displays, and portables.