New airliner landing approach technique to save SAA fuel and time
December 9, 2014 Editor 0
South African Airways (SAA) announced on Friday that it was implementing an innovative technique to ensure more efficient and more rapid landings at airports. The technique, designated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation as the Required Navigational Performance-Authorisation Required (RNP-AR), is operational at Cape Town International Airport.
An appropriately equipped aircraft, with flight crew trained in the technique, can make more direct and curving automatic approaches to (and also departures from) airports with air traffic controllers who have also been trained to use it. Previously, instrument approaches to airports required the aircraft to make dog-leg approaches with straight flight segments between the turns.
Thus, RNP-AR reduces the time taken by an airliner to land and cuts the distance flown in the vicinity of the airport. This, in turn, reduces fuel expenditure and engine emissions. “Research conducted by French company Airbus ProSky showed potential savings of over 690 t of fuel and a reduction of some 230 hours of flight time per year, based on an average saving of 100 kg of fuel per approach and a reduction of two minutes flying time for each approach,” reported SAA Senior First Officer (and project manager) Andrew Smit.
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