Under an agreement signed with the Airbus ProSky subsidiary, Drukair Royal Bhutan Airlines will utilise Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR) procedures throughout its network, starting with Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport. Drukair – the Kingdom of Bhutan’s national carrier – will improve the overall safety and efficiency of its operations with these techniques, which allow aircraft to fly precisely along predefined routes using on-board navigation systems and the GPS-based global navigation satellite system.
News in brief
Airbus ProSky will implement advanced navigation procedures for Drukair’s operations
Airbus Customer Services offers AP/FD-TCAS for in-service aircraft
Operators can now upgrade their in-service aircraft with Auto-Pilot/Flight-Director Traffic alert and Collision Avoidance System (AP/FD-TCAS) capability, which allows pilots to fly avoidance manoeuvres triggered by the TCAS system with either the auto-pilot or flight-director. Airbus’ packaged solutions cover all aircraft configurations to encourage operators to upgrade, improving safety with optimised reactions in collision avoidance in addition to other operational benefits – including the latest flight management and display functionalities.
Staying connected: Internet and GSM mobile access are now in production on A320 Family jetliners
The first A320 Family aircraft offering Wi-Fi internet and GSM telephone connectivity are now being completed at the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse, France. With this installed equipment, the single-aisle jetliners will join Airbus’ other aircraft families – the A330, A380 and soon the A350 XWB – in being outfitted from the production line with the company’s Airline Network Architecture (ALNA v2) for internet access and mobile telephone services.
Airbus ProSky partners with Chinese authorities to improve airport operations
The Airbus ProSky subsidiary is to work with China’s Air Traffic Management Bureau (ATMB) in implementing RNP AR-to-ILS transition approaches for commercial aircraft at Chengdu Airport, with the goal of improving overall airport capacity. This capability will enable aircraft to perform satellite-based Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR) approaches into the airport, then seamlessly transfer to ground-based precision Instrument Landing System (ILS) mode when aligned on the runway axis.
For more information on Airbus’ collaboration with China on air traffic management, see the press release.
The A320neo product line’s LEAP-1A powerplant begins its certification phase
In a major milestone for Airbus’ A320neo (new engine option) family jetliners, CFM International conducted the first run of its LEAP-1A turbofan at GE’s Peebles, Ohio outdoor test facility – kicking off an extensive certification programme. During these initial evaluations, the engine – which is a new choice offered for the A320neo, along with Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G-JM – performed as expected and reached full takeoff thrust.
A400M successfully performs unpaved runway tests
Airbus Military’s A400M has completed an important set of trials demonstrating the new-generation airlifter’s performance on gravel runways, after tests lasting more than a week in Ablitas, Spain. Using a development aircraft, Airbus Military conducted 25 landings during six flights on the same runway – confirming the A400M’s tactical capabilities in such harsh conditions. Demonstrations included ground manoeuvering, rejected takeoffs and use of propeller reverse thrust at speeds as low as 70 kt.
The first Airbus Military A400M for Turkey makes its maiden flight
The Turkish Air Force’s no. 1 A400M completed its initial flight this month with a five-hour, 35-minute mission that began and ended in Seville, Spain. The Turkish Air Force has ordered 10 of these multi-role military airlifters, and crew training is underway at the Airbus Military International Training Centre in Seville, in preparation for the upcoming delivery.
A400M military standard acceptance clears the way for airlifter’s initial delivery
Airbus Military’s A400M today received its Type Acceptance at the Initial Operating Clearance (IOC) standard from the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), representing the programme’s seven European launch nations: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. This is a major milestone for the new-generation military airlifter, marking the final step before the initial production aircraft’s acceptance by the French DGA defence procurement agency and subsequent delivery to the French Air Force.
The A400M military airlifter confirms its airfield assault capability
Airbus Military’s A400M has successfully demonstrated its ability to deploy vehicles and troops rapidly in order to seize an enemy airfield. This was confirmed with a series of tests held at RAF Boscombe Down in the UK, during which a Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicle and weapons-mounted support vehicle were able to exit the A400M cargo cabin while the aircraft’s engines were still running – allowing it to depart immediately upon delivery. Up to 60 troops could be deployed simultaneously with the vehicles.
Key Airbus Military A400M training devices enter service
Two of the most advanced aids for training A400M crews have entered service at the Airbus Military International Training Centre in Seville, Spain: the ground-breaking A400M Full Flight Simulator, for which the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has recommended issuance of an Interim Level C Qualification; and the Cargo Hold Trainer – Enhanced (CHT-E), a full-size replica of the new-generation airlifter’s cargo hold used for training loadmasters.