MAS receives RNP-AR approval for 737-800

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Malaysia Airlines will introduce Required Navigation Performance-Authorisation Required (RNP-AR) approaches aboard its Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The carrier says it is the first Southeast Asian carrier to introduce RNP-AR on the 737-800, following an approval it obtained from Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

“To quantify the efforts further, the new RNP AR operations save fuel per approach as it deploys these approaches into designated airports, initially beginning with Penang, Kuching, followed by Hong Kong and Kathmandu,” says the carrier’s director of operations, Izham Ismail.

“DCA Malaysia has also plans to implement RNP AR approaches in (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) to further increase its airspace capacity and make it one of the most efficient hubs in the region.”

The DCA approval followed the validation of RNP AR at Penang in April. The validation work involved MAS, Boeing, and the DCA.

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.

In December 2013 AirAsia became the first Malaysian carrier to receive approval for RNP-AR approaches. It estimated that RNP-AR approaches into Penang will save it 12nm (22km) of flight per approach.

MAS operates 55 737-800 aircraft and has 13 on order, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Fleets database.