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Important Aviation Safety Research is finally underway (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada)

The University of Waterloo and Team Eagle Ltd. are pleased to announce that they have begun the on-field research component of their joint venture to attempt to determine how to accurately predict the affect of contaminant (snow, slush, water) on aircraft landing/takeoff performance.   As recently as this winter, there have been aircraft landing overruns due in part perhaps to a lack of understanding regarding the affect on aircraft braking on contaminated surfaces and this research hopes to determine a better method for giving pilots more accurate information about what to expect on the runway.

Over the past 16 months, the University and Team Eagle Ltd. have been designing and refining a vehicle based device that can be used to determine the affect of adverse weather conditions on aircraft braking performance and now the “rubber has hit the road/runway”.

“We are very pleased to be in the testing and proof of concept stage,” states Dr. Susan Tighe, Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering and the project lead from the University of Waterloo. “The design phase was both challenging and interesting and now we are seeing the initial results of this work. Our partnerships with Waterloo International Airport and hopefully, as this progresses, with airlines, aircraft manufactures, regulators and aviation safety organizations will be critical to gathering the knowledge required to be able to provide a device that provides objective, accurate and timely information to pilots”.

The research on the BAT (Braking Availability Tester) is scheduled over the next 2 years. “We’re really excited to be on track with the proof of concept phase this winter, with refinements and enhancements to the device over the course of this coming summer, followed by more regimented and conclusive study with industry regulators and stakeholders in winter 2011/12” says Paul Cudmore, Team Eagle’s Chief Operating Officer. “We have a great team both here and in our collaboration with the University of Waterloo + other interested industry groups are coming forward so I’m convinced we have the right minds to accomplish this task. It is important to all of us to continue to have a better understanding of the affect of contaminant on aircraft braking performance”.

For more information on the University of Waterloo please visit http://www.civil.uwaterloo.ca/sltighe/

For more information on Waterloo International Airport please visit www.waterlooairport.ca

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