Naverus, a part of GE Aviation Systems, announced it will begin Required Navigation Performance (RNP) work at a sixth Chinese airport, Lijiang, that will help improve Air China and Sichuan Airlines access and schedule reliability into the Yunnan Province in China. Naverus will continue work for China Southern at Linzhi and for Air China and Sichuan Airlines at Lhasa expanding the Chinese RNP network further. Naverus-designed RNP paths have been implemented at three other Chinese airports- Bangda, Yushu and Jiuzhaigou.
Naverus is designing highly-precise approach and departure procedures for both Air China and Sichuan Airlines fleets of Airbus A319s at Lijiang airport. Upon regulatory approval to fly the paths, the Naverus-designed RNP procedures will allow the operators’ A319 aircraft to arrive and depart the airport through rugged mountainous terrain, even in adverse weather conditions.
Recently, Naverus designed procedures for China Southern Airlines’ fleet of Airbus A319s at Linzhi. The 95-mile approach into the airport is considered to be one of the most challenging commercial jetliner landings. Without RNP, Linzhi is only accessible 100 days a year, in daylight, due to adverse weather conditions. In 2008, Naverus assisted China Southern in implementing RNP solutions at Lhasa airport, validating the Airbus A319 and A330 aircraft.
Since 2004, Naverus and Air China have worked together to implement an extensive network of RNP procedures throughout China to save the airline fuel, emissions, track miles and reduce flight delays and cancellations. Naverus is currently updating Air China’s RNP procedures at Lhasa with paths that will help support operations between Lhasa and areas to the West where new Chinese airports are opening. The new RNP transitions will greatly reduce flight track miles for approach and departure paths to the West.
For Air China, Naverus has designed procedures and validated flights at Lhasa for Boeing 757s, Airbus A319s and A330s; at Linzhi for Boeing 757s and Airbus A319s; at Juizhaigou for Boeing 757s; and at Bangda and Yushu airports for Airbus A319s.
Naverus currently is finishing work at Lhasa for Sichuan Airlines fleet of Airbus A319s. Once validated, the RNP paths will provide the operator all-weather access and enhanced schedule reliability to the airport, which is located in the Himalayan Mountains at nearly 12,000 feet.
Naverus has partnered with China Eastern Airlines since 2009 implementing RNP procedures for the operator’s fleet of Airbus A319s and Boeing 737s at Lhasa and its fleet of Airbus A319s at Yushu.
“Chinese operators have been dedicated to implementing RNP solutions to increase access and reliability into many remote regions,” said Naverus General Manager Steve Forte. “GE is proud to work with such forward-thinking partners that are helping to modernize today’s air traffic systems while decreasing their carbon emissions.”
PBN (performance-based navigation) engages the full potential of the aircraft to fly precisely-defined paths without relying on ground-based radio-navigation signals. RNP, a form of PBN, ensures the aircraft precisely follows the path and provides additional navigational flexibility, such as custom-tailored, curved paths through mountainous terrain or in congested airspace.
RNP procedures can be deployed at any airport, allowing aircraft to fly very precise paths with an accuracy of less than a wingspan. This precision allows pilots to land the aircraft in weather conditions that would otherwise require them to hold, divert to another airport, or even to cancel the flight before departure. In addition, since the procedures are very precise, they can be designed to shorten the distance an aircraft has to fly enroute, and to reduce noise, fuel burn and exhaust emissions. Because of RNP’s precision and reliability, the technology can help air traffic controllers reduce flight delays and alleviate air traffic congestion.