World's 1st RNP to ILS with Autoland Flight Completed in Green Skies of Peru Project

GE Aviation completed the world's first Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR) to Instrument Landing System (ILS) with autoland flight today at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport. The landmark flight, operated by LAN Airlines, combines the predictability and operational benefits of a GE-designed RNP approach with the lower landing minima and autoland capabilities enabled by an ILS. The Green Skies of Peru project will be discussed at the Latin America Performance-based Navigation (PBN) Forum, hosted by GE, in Lima this week.

"This breakthrough technology lowers the aircraft landing minima at Lima to 100 feet when the three elements are combined. In the case of the Lima procedures, the utilization of the RNP AR transitions has enabled aircraft to fly east of the airport in airspace that was previously unused due to terrain constraints," said Steve Fulton, technical fellow for GE Aviation. "The flexibility of RNP AR provides additional capacity allowing for more efficient use of the airspace surrounding the airport."

Traditionally, non-RNP capable aircraft arriving into Lima experience unpredictable operations due to air traffic control vectors required to merge onto the ILS. This can lead to increased workload for the pilots and controllers and add level flight segments that contribute to higher fuel use and unnecessary carbon emissions. By seamlessly connecting the precise lateral and vertical guidance of the satellite-based RNP AR approach to the CAT II ILS, approved aircraft can experience the benefits of RNP, including a continuous descent approach, and a precision landing system in all weather conditions.

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Following this successful flight, the team will continue to develop additional connections to the ILS from other RNP AR transitions to facilitate operations during all levels of traffic. The final phase of the project will be implementing the procedures so they are available to all capable and qualified aircraft operating at Lima.

"We are very proud and happy to have supported this project, in coordination with GE Aviation and the airspace authorities of Peru, that will benefit all the airlines and significantly improve the safety and flight management in the skies of Lima," said Carlos Schacht, central technology manager for LAN Peru.  "The operational excellence, service to passengers and the care for the environment are our strategic pillars of sustainability and are part of this initiative." Regarding today's flight, Schacht added "The amount of communications between the pilots and ATC was significantly reduced and the estimated times were precise."

"We are committed to the region and to help improve air traffic efficiency here," said Sergio Zuquim, Latin America PBN/ATM Services Leader for GE Aviation.  "We will continue to work closely with regulators, airlines, ANSPs and the industry to build these tunnels in the sky." 

The Green Skies of Peru project is a collaborative effort among LAN, GE Aviation, Peru's air navigation service provider CORPAC and regulator DGAC. The demonstration phase of the project commenced in February when LAN flew the region's first continuously guided flight from take-off to landing using PBN technology. The procedures save participating airlines on average 19 track miles, 6.3 minutes, 450 pounds of fuel and 1,420 pounds of CO2 emissions per flight.

Source: GE Aviation
Date: Jul 17, 2012