LAN's Peruvian unit, LAN Peru, plans new navigation procedures to allow the carrier to fly Required Navigation Performance approaches to Cuzco airport.
Surrounded by rugged terrain, the airport is often fogged, prompting LAN Peru to sign a contract with Naverus, the Kent, Washington-based technology firm that designs precision approaches enabling pilots to maintain a specific path following a predetermined and optimised course to a runway in any weather.
Jorge Ihnen, LAN's senior director of operations, says: "Our decision to aggressively implement RNP approaches at Cuzco shows our commitment to provide superior service." LAN is based in Santiago, Chile, but operates major subsidiaries in Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina.
Naverus spokesman Ken Shapero says that the Cuzco approach is the first in Latin America designed to meet the latest standards for performance-based navigation, although an earlier precision approach serves the Quito airport in Ecuador.
IATA SVP for safety, operations and infrastructure Guenther Matschnigg says "eliminating dependency on the ground-based, non-precision landing system at Cuzco is an important step in modernising international airspace".
Naverus also has a similar agreement with Southwest, which is two years into a $175-million RNP project, and plans to begin precision approaches at Dallas Love Field and Houston Hobby some this year.