Domestic Solution to Collision Risk

Turkish engineers will utilize the investment incentives of the Ministry of Economy within context of the project started by the initiatives of Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSB) and will produce an terrain and traffic collision avoidance system to protect the aircraft against collisions.

In this context, ESEN, which aims to develop Traffic and Terrain Collision Avoidance System (T2CAS) for aircraft, a technologically challenging product, was found worthy of benefiting from the investment incentive mechanisms by the Ministry of Economy.

TACOS will be produced as an avionics system that meets TCAS-II and TAWS functions on a single avionics hardware. In international literature, this equipment is referred to as T2CAS.

The TCAS function in the equipment aims to prevent aircraft from colliding in the air. In the accident occurred in the USA in 1956 and named as Grand Canyon accident due to its place, 128 passengers were killed as a result of collision between United Airlines Plane with Trans World Airlines. This accident led to the start of work on collision avoidance systems. Thanks to this system which has been operational for over 20 years, many accidents have been prevented.

The TCAS system identifies the threatening planes and produces “traffic warnings” and proposes the maneuver in the vertical axis that the pilot must perform by producing “separation suggestion” when the aircraft becomes a threat. The TCAS function operates independently of the air traffic control system on the ground and has priority over these systems. Therefore, pilots are expected to follow TCAS warnings exactly.

Failure to use the system correctly led to other major accidents in history. In Überlingen accident occurred in 2002, 71 people including children were killed in air as a result of a collision between a Boeing 757 cargo plane and Russian Tupolev Tu-154 passenger plane. The most important reason for the accident was the fact that Russian pilots did not implement the maneuver proposal given by TCAS. The fact that the controller who was in charge of air traffic control at the time of the accident was killed by a Russian, who lost his wife and children in the accident, two years later was an event which increased the drama of the accident. This accident was also the subject of many films and documentaries. The Movie “Aftermath” which will be aired this year and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger addresses this event.

It is mandatory by the International Civil Aviation Organization to install this equipment, which will be developed for the first time in Turkey, for all air platforms which weigh more than 5700 kilograms and carry more than 19 passengers. There are currently a limited number of companies in the world that produce this system. ESEN is entitled to be one of the few companies in the world that develops this system.

A Challenging and Vital Product

During the interview with AA reporter, Esen General Manager Cem Uğur said that permission is required for collision avoidance system hardware type products from civilian aviation authorities like European Aviation Security Agency (EASA) and USA Federal Aviation Authority.

Uğur stated that they are planning to get approval from EASA for the product in question and gave the following information:

“We believed we could do this. We will produce a product challenging and vital for aviation with our own means and with the government support in Turkey. A system which avoids both traffic and terrain collision will be developed for the first time in our country. There are products that dominate the market for a long time abroad. Our product will be an equivalent product with them.

Our product will be available in 2019 and we expect to use this product in all aviation platforms to be developed in our country. Civil certification will also allow the use of military platforms.

Uğur said that they have made plans for the use of this product in plane and helicopter project in Turkey as of 2019 and export possibilities will later be on the agenda.