Airbus Prosky and AENA lead first successful flight using Required Navigation Performance – Authorization Required (RNP AR) in Spain.
Airbus ProSky, AENA, Thomas Cook, Novair and Norwegian Airlines have successfully flight tested a new RNP AR approach to Runway 21 in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.
Since November 2012, in the scope of the SESAR (Atlantic Interoperability Initiative (AIRE), Airbus Prosky and industry consortium comprising AENA, Air Berlin, Easy Jet and Thomas Cook Airlines have worked with the Spanish Civil Aviation Authorities, DGAC, to design new procedures at La Palma and Lanzarote airports. The objective of the project is to implement environmentally friendly approaches that result in track-mile savings reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Additionally, this project allows the replacement of Lanzarote Runway 21 circle to land procedure by a fully managed and stabilized approach.
In close coordination with local Air Traffic Control (ATC), the first RNP AR flight trial was performed by consortium operator Thomas Cook Airlines on Runway 21 of Lanzarote Airport. According to a Thomas Cook Airlines captain, “[The trial] was just like the simulator; very accurate track keeping.” A captain from the Airline Novair, performing the trial in an Airbus A321 said: “There was 20-30 kts crosswind-but the flight guidance took the aircraft a very accurately to 50 ft over the threshold as expected. It was a normal operation."
An air traffic controller from the approach centre in the Canarias commented: “I watched directly on the radar screen and the descent was perfect, continuous, without steps until touchdown. It was great! Air traffic controllers are really amazed when they experience their first live trial, seeing the final curved leg, the accuracy overflying the line, the low level of communications needed, etc. Congratulations.”
Paul-Franck Bijou, CEO of Airbus Prosky added: “The first flight trial was a full success, with AENA members and flight crew appreciating the approach as a major step towards Performance Based Navigation (PNB) in Spain that provides higher accessibility and efficiency for Lanzarote airport, while being environmentally friendly and supporting flight safety by providing highly stabilized approaches.”
Within the context of the CANARIAS project, a total 100 trials will be performed up until August 2014, in order to demonstrate daily improvements in airspace operations, airport access and noise emission reduction. The flight trials phase will ease the procedure publication by AENA and will pave the way for more PBN procedures to be published at various Spanish airports.
Airbus ProSky, the Air Traffic Management (ATM) subsidiary of Airbus, is dedicated to improving the performance of global ATM. Comprised of recognized subject matter experts and offering intelligent ATM solutions, Airbus ProSky works with stakeholders to maximize efficiency, capacity and environmental sustainability.