airberlin debuts Salzburg precision approaches

airberlin is now the first German airline in Salzburg to use satellite-based precision approaches with its Boeing fleet in accordance with the RNP-AR procedure, thereby further developing its technical leadership role.

Since January 2012, airberlin has been using the RNP-AR procedures for approaches and take-offs in Innsbruck.

RNP-AR stands for “Required Navigation Performance – Authorisation Required” and enables a highly precise and safe course guidance during approaches in mountain valleys as well as during take-offs and landings in poor weather conditions. Since the flight path does not have to be linear in the RNP procedure, turns can be made in the final approach.

The RNP procedure also has great potential to reduce noise and increase environmental efficiency. The approach procedure could be used in future in the vicinity of airports, in order to specifically avoid flying over densely populated areas. In the area of fuel efficiency, the RNP-AR procedure also offers possible savings through more efficient use of airspace, such as shortened approach routes. In Germany, this potential has not yet been exploited.

Marc Altenscheidt, airberlin captain and manager of the Boeing fleet, said: “The satellite-based precision approach in accordance with the RNP-AR procedure not only increases the safety and reliability of the flights, but also opens up new opportunities for eco-efficient flying. We implemented the technical requirements within the Boeing fleet and by now have trained all pilots in this procedure. In Salzburg, we are using the RNP procedures for approaches from the south. If a normal approach from the north is not possible due to inclement weather conditions, this can also be conducted from the south with the RNP procedure.”

“In Innsbruck we are using the RNP procedure for all approaches and take-offs. This gives us a huge competitive advantage because we can take off even in fog and with visibility up to 300 metres. Under these weather conditions, other airlines must still adhere to visual flight rules in the first part of take-off in order to be able to fly out of the valley,” says Marc Altenscheidt.

airberlin supports the research and use of satellite-based precision approaches and is among those committed to the research project “CO2 and Noise Reduction Approach for International Aviation Sustainability” (CANARIAS). The research project is supported by the European Union and will study approaches with the RNP procedure for the airports of La Palma and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. In the summer, airberlin flies from Germany to La Palma once a week and to Lanzarote six times a week.

This entry was posted in Airlines, Airports, Navigation, News, SESAR.

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