RNP-AR APCH approval for AirAsia

AirAsia has received the approval to fly Required Navigation Performance Authorisation Required approach (RNP-AR APCH) flightpaths in Malaysia from the country’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

The DCA granted AirAsia the nation’s first RNP-AR APCH operations approval after successful validation of the flightpaths in Penang. Track mile savings at Penang could save AirAsia nearly 12 nautical miles per approach.

AirAsia has collaborated with GE Aviation and the DCA on the nationwide flight path programme since 2012 to improve operational efficiency at 15 airports in Malaysia. GE Aviation’s Flight Efficiency Services group has delivered procedures at Penang, Kuching, Langkawi, Johor Bahru, Miri, Sibu and Kota Bharu airports. AirAsia expects to begin flying the procedures in its fleet of A320s in the coming weeks.

Aireen Omar, chief executive officer of AirAsia Berhad, commented, “This is a remarkable achievement for AirAsia and we are proud to be the first airline in Malaysia to be granted the RNP-AR APCH operations approval. By achieving significant mile savings, we are able to save on fuel costs and this could be translated to more low fares.”

“We would like to thank the DCA, specifically its respective Flight Operations, Airworthiness and Air Traffic Control divisions and other relevant government agencies for recognising AirAsia’s operational capability and giving us the approval and trust to operate RNP-AR APCH flight paths in Malaysia,” added Omar.

Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) allows pilots to use onboard technology to follow a precise track, independent of ground-based navigation beacons that limit where the aircraft can go. RNP-AR APCH procedures, an advanced form of PBN, can be designed to shorten the distance an aircraft has to fly en-route, and to reduce fuel burn, exhaust emissions and noise pollution in communities near airports. Because of RNP-AR APCH’s precision and reliability, the technology can help air traffic controllers reduce flight delays and alleviate air traffic congestion.

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