Garmin launch AUTONOMÍ™, Autonomos flight solutions
Garmin has developed an emergency system which can automatically land an aircraft when the pilot is unable to, and which can be activated by passengers if the pilot is incapacitated.
Automatic landings were pioneered more than 50 years ago for early airliners and are used regularly to guide passenger jets on to runways, but the new Garmin Autoland system can take control and land the aircraft when commanded to do so.
It will find the optimal airport and runway, taking into account factors such as weather, terrain, obstacles and aircraft performance statistics.
The system, says Garmin, will “bring peace of mind” to those travelling in smaller aircraft. It will soon be available on select general aviation aircraft with the Garmin G3000 integrated flight deck, said the U.S. company.
“Today, aviation is forever changed as we introduce one of the industry’s most significant innovations – the first Autoland system for general aviation aircraft,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin president and CEO.
“The unveiling of Autoland demonstrates Garmin’s deep commitment to develop advanced technologies that enhance aviation safety and save lives.”
In the event of an emergency, the pilot or passengers on board the aircraft can activate Autoland to land the aircraft using a dedicated button. The system can also activate automatically “if the system determines it’s necessary,” says Garmin.
Once activated, the system calculates a flight plan to the most suitable airport, initiates an approach to the runway and automatically lands the aircraft – without pilot or passenger intervention.
Phil Straub, Garmin executive vice president and managing director of aviation, said, “The vision and development of the world’s first Autoland system for general aviation was a natural progression for Garmin as we looked at our aircraft systems and existing autonomous technologies and recognised it is our responsibility to use these building blocks to deliver a technology that will change lives and revolutionise air travel.”