GE Aviation has received a contract to design a required navigation performance-authorization required (RNP-AR) for instrument landing system (ILS) flight procedures for Air China Southwest to enhance operations at Xi Chang Airport.
The combination of the two procedures at Xi Chang RNP is aimed at saving Air China Southwest around 14 nautical miles per approach, compared to existing ILS procedure.
GE Aviation air traffic optimisation group general manager, Giovanni Spitale, said that using the firm's method of merging RNP to the ILS, operators can experience the track mile reduction benefits of RNP with the lower decision altitudes a precision landing system provides.
"Air China Southwest will have continuous lateral and vertical guidance all the way to the runway, while navigating the challenging mountainous environment of Western China," Spitale said.
The firm's RNP AR approach to the airport's non ILS-equipped runway is claimed to reduce the decision height by about 575ft when compared to the current approach.
Relying on satellite-based navigation technology, RNP paths would allow airlines to enhance schedule reliability.
Located in the Sichuan province, southwest of Chengdu, Xi Chang Airport faces operational problems that include weather related hold-ups, one-direction traffic, flight cancellations and tail wind restrictions on the ILS runway.
The procedure designed by GE is expected to help the airport facilitate all-weather operations while enabling arrivals and departures on both runways.
During flight departures, the firm's RNP procedures will offer engine-out protection all through the most decisive time to the en-route configuration.
PBN technology will allow aircraft to fly precisely-defined flight paths without relying on ground-based radio-navigation signals.
Implementation of RNP procedures, an advanced variant of PBN technology, will allow shortening the distance an aircraft has to fly en-route, reducing fuel burn and exhaust emissions and while lessening noise pollution in communities near airports.
RNP procedures will also assist air traffic controllers (ATC) to trim down flight delays while lessening air traffic congestion.