GE Aviation and CAAC Expand Required Navigation Performance Program at Jiuzhai Airport

June 17, 2013

Seven new airlines join the program; RNP to ILS procedure will improve all-weather operations

Le Bourget, FRANCE / Kent, WA USA - GE Aviation, in coordination with airport officials and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), is expanding the Required Navigation Performance (RNP) program at Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport to include seven additional airlines and RNP to Instrument Landing System (ILS) technology. The program will help simplify pilot and controller workload at the airport located in the Sichuan Province of China.

"Key to the airlines' operational efficiency at the airport is the RNP to ILS procedure which enables lower landing minima and additional predictability for all-weather operations," said Alan Caslavka, president, Avionics & Digital Systems for GE Aviation. "The procedure also connects to a Required Navigation Performance - Authorization Required missed approach, providing a fully contained and guided flight path in the event of a go-around."

Required Navigation Performance is part of GE's suite of service offerings that increase an aircraft's overall operational efficiency. GE is harnessing the power of the Industrial Internet and using software and analytics to make its machines smarter and more efficient.

Since 2011, the GE-designed RNP paths at Jiuzhai have provided multiple airlines with improved access to the airport when navigating the complex terrain of the Min Shan mountain range. For the seven new airlines contracted, GE is custom-engineering the flight paths for both Boeing and Airbus aircraft variants to ensure the most efficient procedure. All 11 scheduled airlines at Jiuzhai will comply with the recent RNP-only operations mandate.

"Because of the positive experience and results from the RNP programs at Jiuzhai and other Chinese airports, the CAAC mandated six airports, including Jiuzhai, become 100% RNP capable as of April 1," said Zhu Baosheng, vice president of Jiuzhai Airport. "We can now ensure all operators at Jiuzhai are flying the safest, most accurate flight paths while maximizing aircraft and airspace efficiency and improving on-time arrival rates."

As the third highest airport in China, located at 11,311 feet, the steep terrain can make airport access challenging, especially during poor weather operations, causing flight delays, cancellations and additional pilot workload. The GE-designed RNP paths improve airport access and payload for all operators, while providing an optimized lateral and vertical guidance to the runway. GE also harmonized the approach and departure paths to allow for simultaneous operations.

Performance-based Navigation (PBN) technology allows aircraft to fly precisely-defined flight paths without relying on ground-based radio-navigation signals. RNP procedures, the highest performing type 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’s precision and reliability, the technology can help air traffic controllers reduce flight delays and alleviate air traffic congestion.

GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings.