Air Berlin has been cleared by regulatory authorities to employ satellite-based precision approaches with its Boeing 737s at Salzburg airport in Austria.
The Alpine city is the second location to be approved after Innsbruck, where the German carrier has been using authorisation-based required navigation performance (RNP-AR) procedures for arrivals and departures since January 2012.
Clearance allows the airline to approach Salzburg for the first from the south in instrument meteorological conditions via an S-shaped descent path through mountainous terrain.
Aircraft arriving from this direction previously needed to overfly the airport and land from the north.
Air Berlin says that the RNP procedures will make its flight operations more independent from adverse weather conditions as well as reduce fuel consumption and noise. The carrier has so far configured only its 737s and trained the respective pilots for RNP operations.