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  1. Airbus ProSky
5 January 2015

Airbus ProSky and its SESAR JU Partners Launch RISE Project to Increase Airspace Efficiency

To enhance safety, improve flight efficiency and airport accessibility, Airbus ProSky and its partners are proud to announce the kick-off of the RISE Project (RNP Implementation Synchronized in Europe). Together, with SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), they will implement performance based navigation (PBN) procedures at eight airports located in southern Europe.

Led and co-financed by SJU, the project is managed by Airbus ProSky, in collaboration with four air navigation service providers (ANSPs) – DCAC, NAV Portugal, DSNA, HCAA – and three airline operators, namely Air France, Novair and TAP Portugal. These partners will conduct more than 160 flight trials, demonstrating a range of PBN procedures, such as required navigation performance (RNP) approach, RNP arrival, visual RNAV and RNP to instrument landing system (ILS) procedures.

Florian Guillermet, head of SESAR JU Programs remarked: "The RISE project offers an important opportunity to demonstrate more widely the significant efficiency, safety and environmental benefits that are possible with PBN procedures. In doing so, the project will further convince the broader community that the first SESAR solutions are fit for wider scale implementation."

"This project is a great example for the entire aviation community. It will establish a clear benchmark for the benefits of the new navigation technologies and efficient flight operations."

PBN procedures, RNP standards, are about freeing airplanes’ reliance on ground-based navigational aids and allowing more flexible and optimum routing using satellite navigation. While these procedures have existed for some time, implementation in Europe has been slow due to a number of operational factors.

Bringing together expertise of the ANSPs and airline operators, Airbus ProSky will coordinate the implementation of PBN procedures and air traffic controllers training. Flight trials will be performed in airports in France (Nice, Ajaccio), Cyprus (Paphos and Larnaca), Portugal (Madeira and Horta), and Greece (Corfu, Iraklion, Santorini and Mykonos). The implementation of RNP procedures is expected to significantly reduce fuel consumption in descent and arrival phases, thereby reducing environmental impact.

The two-year project will improve airport access and enhance safety of operations by removing the circle-to-land approaches, without relying on the ground navigation infrastructure, lowering the weather minima and allowing shorter tracks resulting in track miles savings and continuous descent operations.

Airbus ProSky CEO Paul-Franck Bijou remarked: "This project is a great example for the entire aviation community. It will establish a clear benchmark for the benefits of the new navigation technologies and efficient flight operations."

Airbus ProSky will support each partner in the design phase as well as the safety and environmental assessments. In particular, each procedure will be validated in a full flight simulator to test all nominal and non-nominal operations, firstly by pilots with PBN-expertise from Airbus ProSky and then by expert airline pilots. Air traffic controllers from each of the participating airports will also receive an intensive PBN training in order to ensure the highest clearance rate.

Starting mid-2015, more than 160 flight trials will be conducted in visual meteorological conditions, in collaboration with the partner airlines and ANSPs. These trials will capture feedback from flight crew and air traffic controllers’ on the procedures in terms of fly-ability, safety, crew and ATC workload, as well as assess savings in CO² emissions and fuel consumption reduction.

The RISE project will bridge the R&D and deployment phases, by raising awareness and motivating subsequent PBN implementation.

For more information, please contact Airbus Prosky.

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