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Phase one development testing comprises of three key elements: aircraft performance, flight, and runway operations. Each stage will be put through a dry run for evaluation and analysis. This invention is intended to master design and management flow of aircraft on and off the runway resulting in profound economic implications for those involved with airport operations and surrounding land use.
When an aircraft taxi onto the runway unaffected by weather or landing air traffic it could immediately be cleared for take off. Passenger pre-planning for arrival time, passing through security, going to the flight gate, facing tighter seating, paying higher cost for flights, including additional baggage fees is enough of a challenge. An extra benefit that compresses boarding and take off into one seamless event could potentially change perceptions of delay thereby improving the flight experience. Oscar Lewis’s invention was specifically designed to relieve airport congestion, increase capacity and problem solve passenger time lost when waiting for take-off!
The following questions answered by aviation inventor, Oscar Lewis, addresses patent development and testing.
What do you hope to accomplish with this phase one testing of the ‘Smart Runway’ System?
“Phase one is part of three phases for testing the full 21st Century Smart Runway System. The first step gives us testing on ground and flight capabilities of aircraft operating while approaching a runway for landing and exiting the runway at a higher speed on newly invented high speed exit way. Our development provides a technique for the aircraft to exit between 30 to 60 seconds faster than normally. This opens up a measured amount of traffic that could multiply at a normal airport supporting growth and capacity as we increase air travel.”
In a 2008 US Department of Transportation report ‘Sitting on the Runway: Current Aircraft Taxi Times Now Exceed Pre-911 Experience.’ How will the 21st Century New Generation Smart Runway System solve this problem barring weather and maintenance ?
“By enabling landing aircraft to exit faster off the runway, air traffic control could better manage the flow of arrivals and take offs. Today’s aircraft landing takes up valuable time when on the runway slowing to taxing speed before exiting. By providing turn off speed lanes for landing aircraft to exit much faster, air traffic control is given more time for sequencing the next flight. From a pilot standpoint or from the airport control agencies, value is added through increased revenue savings particularly on gas usage or where time is money.”
Tell us about the scheduled events such as where are you planning to test? When? How?
“Our ground testing for aircraft performance will begin on Saturday Dec. 13th in Central Carolina. Taxing, breaking, turning, and controls will be tested in Sanford continuing at Greensboro, Raleigh-Durham and Wilmington airports. Ground testing continues up to Dec. 17th then we begin flight testing. This will not be the totality of our development work. There are several levels and layers of testing the aircraft including addressing the entry or exit on and off the runway.”
What is the present climate for your patent idea?
“I have been receiving outstanding support with overwhelming positive feedback. There is a need. The aviation world sees the benefit as well as municipalities where rebuilding local economic foundations around airports include: services, roads and bridges.”
What benefits does Phase I actually provide before other phases are tested?
“Phase one as a key element of the ‘smart runway’ effectively shows that aircrafts can operate at higher speeds exiting the runway that lead to reduced time between departures. It will be important to delve deeply into evaluation to understand the different types of aircraft that will be exiting off onto one of the two high speed exit ways or at the end of the runway as they do today.”
Which airport locations are most likely to benefit in the short term?
“Land and water locked airports in metropolitan areas would be the priority today. Airports such as Reagan National, Midway, Love Field in Dallas and LaGuardia are top priorities. Other airports at the top of the list include those with high traffic demands.”
How does this patent compliment the FAA Next ‘Generation’ Program that addresses the number one cause of delays by lessening impact of weather patterns?
“The Next Generation program or NextGen will transfer navigational systems from land based platforms to satellite based platforms. New flight patterns would direct aircraft to fly more directly from point to point using GPS. The Smart Runway compliments the NextGen program because it allows for more aircraft to take off and land. There is an immediate need for a ground solution to compliment NextGen because the level of traffic forecast will continue creating more congestion at airports currently experiencing it today, except at a much higher level. The ‘Smart Runway’ provides more aircraft access to operate in terminal airspace, which could be a major compliment to NextGen program objectives.”
What are the followup steps in testing?
“After Wednesday December 17, 2014, we will make more flight tests for various types of aircraft. In addition our new website at www.smartrunway.com will come online in early 2015, encourages pilots worldwide to send real time flight information for time spent on runways giving us the necessary data to develop the best program possible.”
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About the Author
Lillian L Thompson
Lillian Thompson received a Master's of Architecture from Columbia University and Interior and Environmental Degree from Pratt Institute, se
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