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Chilean airlines tests GE Aviation’s PBN system

Peru: GE Aviation designed a precise performance-based navigation (PBN) system which utilises Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR) procedure. And, Chile’s LAN Airlines conducted a test flight using this technology which enables aircraft to fly precise, defined flight paths without relying on ground-based, radio-navigation signals.

The RNP system utilises the ability of the advanced avionics of modern aircraft supported by satellite guidance, which allows a more precise navigation, operate safely in low visibility conditions avoiding delays and flight cancellations, and define shorter paths and more efficient approximations. This leads to lower fuel consumption and a significant reduction in CO2 emissions and noise to the environment.

GE’s Seattle-based PBN services designed the GPS-guided procedures, including a Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR) departure from Cusco, located in the Andes mountain range, an en-route area navigation (Rnav) flight path and an RNP AR approach into Lima. An aircraft flying RNP AR must maintain tight lateral and vertical accuracy on all segments. Rnav flight paths use GPS or ground navaids for reference.

The flight took place under the Green Skies of Peru project, a collaboration of LAN, GE Aviation, Peru’s Corpac air navigation service provider and the country’s DGAC regulatory agency. GE said the procedures will save participating airlines on average 19 track miles, 6.3 minutes, 450 pounds of fuel and 1,420 pounds of CO2 emissions per flight. LAN flies the Cusco-Lima route 11 to 17 times a day, depending on the season.

“Operational excellence, passenger service and environmental protection are the pillars of our sustainability strategy, as reflected in this initiative,” said LAN Peru CEO Jorge Vilches. “We have made a great effort to train our pilots properly, to equip our A319/320s with state-of-the-art technology, to obtain DGAC certification for these types of operations and to design and deploy these highly specialised procedures in collaboration with GE Aviation. This is, undoubtedly, big news for our country, and will be of great benefit to all our passengers.”

In collaboration with the International Air Transport Association, GE designed RNP approach procedures for LAN at Cusco in 2009. LAN then chose the company to develop RNP at five other airports it serves, including Lima. The Cusco-Lima demonstration flight began a formal trial that will validate the flight procedures under various operating conditions and finalise the deployment plan, GE added.

Source: AIN Online