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GE Aviation to support GOL RNP operations

GOL has selected GE Aviation’s PBN Services to assist the airline in obtaining regulatory authorisation to fly Required Navigation Performance (RNP) flight procedures in Brazil which, when approved, will allow the airline to fly RNP paths in its fleet of Boeing 737s, reducing fuel consumption and emissions while increasing airspace capacity.

Brazil’s air traffic is expected to double, from four million passengers per month to eight million by 2014, according to a 2009 KPMG estimate, UK trade commission report. The country is hosting the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, which will place major challenges on Brazil’s air traffic management system.

“GOL is a forward-looking aviation leader that recognises the importance of RNP in the fast-growing Brazilian aviation sector,” said Steve Forte, general manager of GE Aviation’s PBN Services. “Using RNP, GOL will be able to grow its operations quickly and safely to meet market demand, while reducing emissions and fuel consumption.”

RNP allows aircraft to fly precisely-defined trajectories without relying on ground-based radio-navigation signals. 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.

GE will perform a customised assessment of the airline’s readiness to adopt RNP, examining GOL’s current equipment and operations. Based on the assessment, GE will develop a roadmap for PBN (Performance-based Navigation) implementation.

“GOL selected GE for this project because of its successful track record of developing and deploying PBN programmes throughout the world,” said Viggo Thisted, GOL’s new technologies project manager. “We look forward to working with GE to develop our PBN plan in Brazil.”

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