Seattle, WA - July 16, 2012 - GE Aviation is deploying the world's first network of ICAO Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR) flight paths designed by a third-party in Malaysia. The program includes GE-designed ICAO 9905 compliant RNP AR approach paths at 15 Malaysian airports. The highly-precise paths will improve operating efficiencies for AirAsia by reducing track miles and fuel burn while also providing aircraft with precise lateral and vertical arrival and missed approach guidance.
Under the agreement, GE will design, deploy, validate and maintain a network of precise RNP procedures to utilize the performance characteristics of AirAsia's A320 fleet. Work is underway at the first two airports - Kuching International and Penang International. A preliminary review of Kuching airport showed potential flight track miles savings of up to 8 miles for runway 04 and up to 13 miles for runway 22.
"This collaborative project is a notable milestone in the global effort to deploy Performance-based Navigation (PBN) solutions that streamline air traffic management operations," said Giovanni Spitale, general manager of GE Aviation's PBN Services. "AirAsia joins a growing number of aviation leaders around the world that recognize the value and urgency of implementing RNP programs."
In collaboration with the Malaysia Department of Civil Aviation Authority (DCA), the regulator and air navigation service provider, GE's PBN Services recently completed a customized assessment of AirAsia's readiness to adopt RNP, examining the airline's current equipment and operations. Based on the assessment, GE has developed a roadmap for PBN implementation and is working with the DCA and AirAsia to develop the carrier's regulatory approval to fly RNP in Malaysia. Furthermore, GE will assist in the development of education and training for the flight crew, technical staff, dispatchers and air traffic controllers.
"AirAsia selected GE for this significant project because of its history of successful PBN program deployments that deliver both operational and environmental benefits," said Bo Lingam, AirAsia Chief of Operations and Planning. "We look forward to working with GE and the DCA to further develop our PBN plan in Malaysia."
"This PBN program will improve air traffic management at a network of commercial airports in Malaysia while ensuring our country meets ICAO PBN resolution in a timely manner," said Director General of Civil Aviation Malaysia Dato' Azharuddin Abd Rahman. "Our organization is proud to work with GE and AirAsia to accomplish this significant milestone."
RNP AR is the highest-performing type of PBN procedure. PBN technology allows aircraft to fly precisely-defined flight paths without relying on ground-based radio-navigation signals. RNP procedures 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.