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Mon, Nov 15, 2010

LAN Selects GE Aviation To Develop RNP Navigation Network In South America

Airline Will Benefit From Required Navigation Performance Technology At Five Airports

GE has entered into a Performance-based Navigation (PBN) Services agreement with LAN Airlines to design and deploy an optimized navigation network at Lima –Jorge Chávez International Airport, and four other airports in Perú, Chile and Ecuador.

GE’s PBN Services business in Kent, WA will design the optimized arrivals and departures using Required Navigation Performance technology (RNP). RNP is an advanced form of PBN that, for a typical airline, can eliminate an average of 10 nautical miles from the distance an airplane flies on its approach to landing and create significant reductions in annual fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Lima, Jorge Chavez International Airport, is an important hub in Latin America, serving about 9 million passengers, with more than 100,000 operations yearly. Operated with one runway, and located in a densely populated area, the airport faces many challenges to accommodate rapidly increasing traffic volume. GE will work closely with DGAC-Perú, Corpac S.A. and LAN to design and seamlessly integrate the RNP procedures in the busy Lima airspace. “We selected GE to design and deploy the RNP, because of their unrivaled experience and their successful record in Cusco and at other airports around the world,” said Jorge Ihnen, senior vice-president of operations of LAN.

In 2009, GE designed and deployed RNP paths at Cusco and assisted LAN in gaining regulatory approval to fly them. Cusco Airport, located high in the Andes Mountains, is a busy vacation gateway to Machu Picchu in Peru. “The benefits LAN experienced by adopting RNP at Cusco led us to recognize the value of deploying these paths at many airports we fly to,” said Carlos Schacht, vice-president of operations & maintenance of LAN Perú.

“GE is committed to working with airlines, like LAN, to custom-design PBN navigation solutions that match operating and economic needs,” said Steve Forte, general manager of GE’s PBN Services business, in a news release Thursday. “LAN joins a growing number of airlines around the world that recognize the value of implementing optimized RNP navigation procedures.”

PBN engages the full potential of the aircraft to fly precisely-defined paths without relying on ground-based radio-navigation signals. RNP, a form of PBN, ensures the aircraft precisely follows the path and provides additional navigational flexibility, such as custom-tailored, curved paths through mountainous terrain or in congested airspace.

RNP procedures can be deployed at any airport, allowing aircraft to fly very precise paths with an accuracy of less than a wingspan. This precision allows pilots to land the aircraft in weather conditions that would otherwise require them to hold, divert to another airport, or even to cancel the flight before departure. In addition, since the procedures are very precise, they can be designed to shorten the distance an aircraft has to fly en-route, and to reduce noise, fuel burn and exhaust emissions. Because of RNP’s precision and reliability, the technology can help air traffic controllers reduce flight delays and alleviate air traffic congestion.



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