Airbus’ Quovadis RNP subsidiary and IndiGo have successfully demonstrated, using an Airbus A320, the first ‘Required Navigation Performance’ (RNP) flight of any commercial airliner in India, at Cochin International Airport – the nation’s seventh busiest airport.
Specially developed by Quovadis, the RNP procedure for this airport was validated using Airbus flight simulators. Following this successful flight by IndiGo, Jet Airways will soon also demonstrate this procedure at the airport using a Boeing 737-800. Together, all operators with ‘RNP capable’ aircraft will benefit from RNP approaches at Cochin airport, once the new procedures have been officially published by the authorities.
“RNP approaches are a great way to achieve savings while improving safety,” says Paul-Franck Bijou, Chief Executive Officer of Quovadis. “RNP navigation has the necessary flexibility to optimise and segregate trajectories from non-RNP traffic, terrain and obstacles”.
He adds: “Quovadis, together with its partners CGx AERO in SYS and ENAC (Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile), have been working with Indian authorities (DGCA), Airport Authorities of India and two operators, IndiGo and Jet Airways, to develop this RNP procedure.”
The new procedure for India, which has been jointly financed by Airbus and the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC), brings the following benefits to both local authorities and airlines at Cochin International Airport:
• Fully managed approach on contained trajectories;
• A much shorter flight path saving 40nm for operators on each approach, equating to approximately 1,000lbs fuel saved per landing, whilst reducing noise emissions;
• Easier air traffic management especially in areas with reduced or no radar coverage.
“Flying RNP at such a busy airport is a great way to ensure fully managed and stable approaches, reduce flight time and increase fuel efficiency,” says Captain Kathpalia, Head of Flight Inspection at DGCA.
“We are looking forward to flying commercially RNP APCH at Cochin Airport in the very near future,” says Aditya Ghosh, President of IndiGo. “We expect tangible cost savings, since it will improve the efficiency of our operations,” he adds. “More importantly, we are excited about partnering in this significant step towards improving Air Traffic Management in India and helping to make it a safer environment.”