GE Aviation, in collaboration with AirAsia, is implementing a network of required navigation performance authorisation required (RNP AR) flight paths at 15 airports in Malaysia.
According to GE, the new approach will enhance operating efficiencies of AirAsia flights by reducing track miles and fuel consumption, while offering aircraft accurate lateral, vertical arrival and missed approach guidance.
Performance-based navigation (PBN) technology enables aircraft to fly precisely-defined flight paths without depending on ground-based radio-navigation signals.
RNP procedures can reduce an aircraft's en-route flying distance, lower fuel burn, cut emissions and noise pollution, in addition to reducing flight delays and air traffic congestion.
Civil Aviation Malaysia director general Dato' Azharuddin Abd Rahman said: "This PBN programme 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."
Under the agreement, GE will design, deploy, certify and maintain a network of precise RNP procedures to improve the performance of AirAsia's A320 fleet, with initial deployment at Kuching International and Penang International.
GE has completed a preliminary review of the system at Kuching airport, which reported potential flight track savings of close to 8 and 13 miles for the airport's 04 and 22 runways respectively.
The Malaysia Department of Civil Aviation Authority (DCA) and GE's PBN Services have completed a customised evaluation of AirAsia's readiness to adopt RNP.
Following the completion of the evaluation, GE has designed a plan for the implementation of PBN, as well as working with DCA and AirAsia to develop regulatory approval for carriers to fly RNP in Malaysia.
The contract also includes supporting the development of education and training for flight crews, technical staff, dispatchers and air traffic control.
Image: GE will initially deploy RNP procedures at Malaysia's Kuching International Airport. Photo: courtesy of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad.