Malaysia: AirAsia received approval to fly Required Navigation Performance (RNP) flight paths in Malaysia, with support from GE Aviation. “The RNP flight paths can save the airline up to 23nm (nautical miles) at Kuching Airport and 18nm at Kota Bharu, compared to the standard terminal arrival. Some of the new flight procedures, including Langkawi, provide aircraft with an instrument approach procedure and vertical guidance to runways that previously had none. Once the flight paths are in place at the 15 airports, AirAsia expects to save up to 1 million RM a year from reduced fuel costs,” said Giovanni Spitale, general manager of GE Aviation’s Flight Efficiency Services.
With regulatory approval, AirAsia has initiated the new flight procedures at Penang, where track mile savings can yield up to 12nm per arrival. AirAsia will expand RNP operations of its fleet of A320s to the other airports soon.
Performance-based Navigation (PBN) technology allows pilots to use onboard technology to follow a precise track, independent of ground-based navigation beacons that limit where the aircraft can go. RNP procedures, an advanced form of PBN technology, can be designed to shorten the distance an aircraft has to fly en-route, and to reduce fuel burn, exhaust emissions and noise pollution in communities near airports. Because of RNP’s precision and reliability, the technology can help air traffic controllers reduce flight delays and alleviate air traffic congestion.
Source: Air traffic management