Kongsberg Aeronautical's system originates from a pilot's desire for better and improved information.
A Commitment to Aviation Safety
On December 20,1995 a Tower Air Boeing 747 with 486 people on board veered of the runway upon take off at John F Kennedy International Airport. Runway conditions were icy and slippery. "Another overrun on a contaminated runway", concluded Capt. Oddvard Johnsen.
Johnsen had, as a commercial pilot, a long-time experience operating under difficult winter conditions in Norway. He has been commitment to aviation safety since his early days as a fighter pilot in the Norwegian Airforce. Later, a commercial career with Braathens led him to be appointed to IFALPA’s “Airworthiness Study Group” with focus on contaminated runway operations. A problem equally important in the 70ies and 80ies as now.
The Tower Air accident trigger Johnsen, and in his mind he thought:
“there must be a better way to assess runway conditions than just using friction measurement equipment - they are obviously not good enough”. His experience, from at that time the modern B767, he then envisioned the ability to take use of the aircraft itself to better assess the condition of the runway.
His idea of using the aircraft forms the foundation for today's solution by Kongsberg Aeronautical, a system enabled by the development and digitalization of the modern aircraft.