AirAsia cleared for RNP-AR approaches in Malaysia

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AirAsia has become the first Malaysian carrier to be granted approval for Required Navigation Performance-Authorisation Required (RNP-AR) approaches in the country.

Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) granted the approval following AirAsia’s validation of RNP-AR approaches at Penang, says the low-cost carrier.

AirAsia estimates that RNP approaches into Penang will save it 12nm (22km) of flight per approach.

The approval follows work conducted since July 2012 by GE Aviation, AirAsia and the DCA to improve efficiency at 15 Malaysian airports. The carrier says that GE has developed new RNP-AR procedures for the Penang, Kuching, Langkawi, Johor Bahru, Miri, Sibu and Kota Bharu airports.

The carrier’s fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft will adopt these procedures in the coming weeks.

RNP relies on satellite navigation as opposed to ground-based navigational aids to provide a precise flight corridor, which can help to optimise routes and reduce fuel burn while improving flight safety.

It allows an airline to mitigate the risk of delays or diversions, but can also create other benefits such as lower noise and fuel consumption.