Peru’s Green Sky achieves RNP-ILS

GE Aviation completed the world’s first Required Navigation Performance Authorisation Required (RNP AR) to Instrument Landing System (ILS) with autoland flight 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.

“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 utilisation 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.

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.

Fulton told Air Traffic Management that the Peru project is very similar to Europe’s VINGA trial within the SESAR ATM modernisation programme, with the addition of a couple of interesting ‘twists’.

“The Green Skies over Peru flights were inaugurated in February of 2012 between Cusco and Lima. This city pair is the first of a national network currently in development by LAN Airlines and their partners to harvest the synergy of a ‘closed’ system of PBN routes that provide continuous guidance by PBN from liftoff to touchdown.

“Lima has periods of severe fog in the winter which disrupt all of this. So, the second twist is that the flight yesterday inaugurated a new procedure that connects all of this continuous guidance from liftoff to arrival in Lima with a new Category III ILS approach that is in the process of being published in Lima – currently in the AIRAC publication cycle.  So, the all-weather operational capability is extended to Cat III with autoland (expected to be a Decision Height of 50 feet) for the landing portion in Lima.”

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. On a per flight basis, the demonstrated savings are the reduction of 19 NM, 450 lbs of fuel, six minutes of flying time, and 0.6 metric tons of CO2.  These savings are substantial on an annual basis because of the heavy traffic along these routes.

“This project, in coordination with GE Aviation and the airspace authorities of Peru, 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.”

“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.”

Read More:

LAN debuts first LatAm PBN route

VINGA demonstrates first RNP-AR arrival with ILS approach

GE to deploy Malaysia RNP network

 

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