US major carrier Delta Air Lines is working with FAA to gain approval for RNP (required navigation performance) operations beyond its Boeing 737s, and believes it will be the first carrier to fly 777s equipped for RNP.
RNP allows an aircraft to fly along a precise, pre-defined and tailored 3D path designed to reduce delays, fuel burn, noise and emissions.
Delta CEO Richard Anderson in a regular update to employees says the carrier is trying win approval for its 757s, 767-400s and 777s, which if approved would make Delta the first 777 operator to use RNP in its operations.
Along with approval to use RNP on its 737s, Delta also has the nod to fly RNP on some specially-equipped 757s.
Anderson notes RNP "allows us to improve capacity on the ground and in the air", and also aids the carrier's operations to mountainous airports in South America.
Delta introduced the 777 into its operations earlier this year. ATI's ACAS database shows the carrier currently flies eight 777-200ERs and two 777-200LRs. A further eight -200LRs are on order.