Malaysia first in S/E Asia with B737 RNP

Malaysia Airlines has obtained approval from its Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to fly Required Navigation Performance (RNP AR) approaches.

Malaysia Airlines will introduce the RNP AR approaches on its Boeing 737-800 fleet in South East Asia which represents a significant milestone for the national carrier.

RNP AR gives Malaysia Airlines a tremendous ability to optimise Next-Generation 737 operations in varying and demanding conditions.

At terrain challenged airports such as mountain surrounded Kathmandu, RNP AR can improve baggage capacity, increase flight stability and reduce pilot workload during the busiest phases of flight.  At remote airports, RNP AR approach can provide a precise approach capability without the need for ground infrastructure, and in nearly all cases, RNP AR approach reduces the miles flown which in turn lowers fuel consumption, emissions, noise, and costs.

An added benefit is that RNP AR approaches also improve passenger comfort. Airlines that have implemented RNP AR procedures have realised significant amount of money in fuel savings.

Malaysia Airlines director of operations Captain Izham Ismail said: “To quantify the efforts further, the new RNP AR operations save fuel per approach as it deploys these approaches into designated airports, initially beginning with Penang, Kuching, followed by Hong Kong and Kathmandu. DCA Malaysia has also plans to implement RNP AR approaches in KLIA to further increase its airspace capacity and make it one of the most efficient hub in the region. Our technical & development chief pilot Captain Wee Yeng Chor and his team has put in many hours of work to ensure the success of this programme.”

The DCA granted the approval after the successful validation of the RNP AR flight at Penang International Airport on 3 April. Malaysia Airlines collaborated with Boeing, air traffic control and DCA on the nationwide programme to improve its operational efficiency.

The cost for this RNP AR programme and procedural development at Penang and Kuching is fully borne by Boeing. RNP AR is a powerful and flexible capability that uses onboard avionics and GPS satellite positioning to precisely navigate the airplane along a pre-planned flight path.  These new RNP AR procedures allow Boeing customers to take advantage of the capability to reduce miles flown during airport departures and arrivals.

Alex Fecteau, manager, RNP AR Services, digital aviation said “The Boeing team shines brightest when we combine our most-advanced-in-industry airplanes with our spectacular services teams to help customers take advantage of the full potential of their Boeing fleets” he added. Fecteau led the project for Boeing and joined the validation flight in April.

With the approval, Malaysia Airlines will fly the procedures in its B738-800 fleets in the coming weeks.

Posted in Airlines, Avionics, CAAs/ANSPs, Navigation, News

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