Southwest Airlines plans to officially start using wide-scale required navigation performance on 11 January on its 737 fleet (a -700 variant is seen below).
RNP allows aircraft to fly more direct and precise paths to cut flight time and fuel consumption. It also enables the use of localiser performance with vertical guidance procedures that require fewer ground-based instrument landing aids, which gives increased access to airports, particularly in low-visibility conditions.
Chief operating officer Mike Van de Ven told investors: “If we can save literally three minutes of flight, we will have, depending on the price of fuel, $25 million, $30 million, $40 million worth of fuel-burn benefits.” Read more…
See before & after photos of a Southwest 737 RNP-equipped cockpit here.