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News

Chinese Installations Of RNP Flight Paths


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GE Aviation
: 15 November, 2010  (Application Story)
Air China and airports in China are making use of Required Navigation Performance flight paths installed by GE Aviation
GE’s installation of Required Navigation Performance (RNP) flight paths, at Lijiang, China, will allow Sichuan Airlines and Air China to maintain reliable commercial air service at the airport during an Instrument Landing Service (ILS) outage that began there earlier this month. The RNP paths, designed by GE’s PBN Services business in Kent, Wash. (Naverus), provide precise lateral and vertical guidance to the runway, making it possible for aircraft to land in nearly all weather conditions, even without the ILS.

“Chinese airlines are proving that Performance-based Navigation solutions, like these RNP flight paths, solve many of today’s most challenging air traffic management problems,” said Steve Forte, general manager of GE’s PBN Services business. “We have been providing flight paths in China since 2004 and are pleased to be expanding our RNP work there to deliver benefits to Chinese airlines and the communities and passengers they serve.”

RNP technology couples GPS satellite navigation with onboard flight-management technology to provide precise lateral and vertical aircraft guidance independent of ground-based Navigation Systems such as ILS. If it weren’t for RNP flight paths, the loss of the ILS at Lijiang would prevent aircraft from landing there during periods of low visibility or when cloud ceilings are below 1,200 feet. The GE-designed RNP provides precision guidance to the runway, allowing equipped aircraft to continue to operate even during periods of reduced ceiling and visibility. Both Sichuan Airlines and Air China expect to use the RNP paths this month. In addition to the Lijiang RNP flight paths, GE worked with Sichuan Airlines in September to validate RNP paths for its fleet of A319s at Lhasa airport, located in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. The RNP paths, now in revenue service there, allow Sichuan aircraft to safely arrive and depart the airport through rugged, mountainous terrain, in all kinds of weather, both day and night. Without RNP, the airport is accessible only during daylight hours in good weather conditions.

The recent RNP flight validations continue the growing partnership between GE and Chinese aircraft operators who are working to implement PBN solutions that save time and fuel while improving safety and schedule reliability. In addition to Lijiang and Lhasa, GE’s PBN Services business has implemented RNP paths at four other Chinese airports - Bangda, Yushu, Linzhi and Jiuzhaigou - and has designed and deployed RNP paths for two other Chinese airlines - China Southern and China Eastern.

RNP Services is the most recent product to become qualified, having completed GE’s rigorous Product Review process. The evaluation focused on the technology’s operating and environmental benefits, which include demonstrated emissions reductions, fuel and costs savings. The technology is an example of GE’s commitment to help customers address business and environmental issues with innovative technologies and services.
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