NAVBLUE Launches RunwaySense

NAVBLUE launched their RunwaySense service, which allows airlines and airports to accurately assess and report runway conditions by using Airbus aircraft as sensors.

Airports can use the aircraft data to inform their runway clearing operations, better timing runway clearing activities or targeting application of de-icing chemicals. With the mandatory ICAO Global Reporting Format (GRF), due to come into effect later this year, this data contributes to airports reporting requirements with accurate, near real-time runway performance information.

Airlines can use this data to better monitor their operations as they share the data their aircraft have generated internally, or access data generated by other operators.

RunwaySense is based on BACF+ (Braking Action Computation Function), software released by NAVBLUE in 2019 on the Airbus single-aisle family. BACF+ generates a message on the aircraft accurately reporting the condition of the runway it’s just landed on, against the FAA’s Take-off and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM). This data, already available to the pilot through the MCDU (Multi Function Control and Display Unit), will now be accessible from NAVBLUE via dedicated channels which can be selected to best fit the user’s operational requirements.

Users will be able to access the data via a NAVBLUE web-based tool or an Application Programming Interface (API) allowing them to integrate the data feed into their existing software platforms.

“By transforming the aircraft into a sensor we’re maximizing the airports’ knowledge of their runway performance and therefore increasing safety for aircraft and airports,” said Thomas Lagaillarde, NAVBLUE VP Program/Portfolio. “More than 10 airlines, in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and Africa, have signed up for BACF+ and the number of aircraft transmitting data continues to grow. We believe the community model of sharing data is the right direction of travel for all aviation stakeholders: airlines, airports and crucially the passenger will benefit from this new technology.”

RunwaySense is the first of NAVBLUE’s airport-focused solutions to be launched and will be followed in the coming months by AirportCore, a web platform leveraging big data to help airports better anticipate delays and congestion.