RNAV tackles London Luton noise, emissions

London Luton Airport (LLA) has introduced Area Navigation (RNAV) technology for departing flights leaving the airport along the Match/Detling flight routes used during westerly operations; helping to draw aircraft away from densely populated areas.

The introduction follows approval of the airport’s ‘Airspace Change Proposal’ by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) earlier this year which was made possible thanks to the positive engagement from Air Navigation Service Provider, NATS, airlines and local stakeholders and community groups.

RNAV1 uses GPS type technology enabling aircraft to fly routes more precisely, drawing aircraft away from densely populated areas, reducing noise disturbance and cutting emissions.  Trials carried out from March to June 2013 found that the introduction of RNAV technology reduced the number of people over flown by 79 per cent and will lead to annual savings of 290 tonnes of fuel and 885 tonnes of CO2.

Neil Thompson, operations director of LLA, said: “The introduction of RNAV1 is a great achievement; for over 10 years we have been working with airlines, NATS and the UK CAA to look at ways track-keeping can be improved to help reduce the number of people over flown. The plan now, working with our neighbours, is to secure approval from the regulator, the CAA, to deploy the same GPS technology on the remaining arrival and departure routes at LLA.”

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