New Airbus subsidiary to offer RNP assistance

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Airbus has established a new subsidiary to offer assistance to airlines and other air transport organisations centred on required navigation performance services.

The subsidiary is branded Quovadis - from the Latin phrase meaning 'Where are you going?' - and will begin operating in July.

Required navigation performance (RNP) is a concept under which aircraft manoeuvre along a pre-defined flight path with a specific degree of lateral accuracy.

During a briefing in Hamburg today the airframer illustrated, as an example, a demonstration flight it conducted to RNP0.1 standards - requiring tracking accuracy of 0.1nm - through the harsh terrain of the approach to Lhasa Airport in Tibet.

"Airbus has been very committed to this new technology over the last few years, with a very positive outcome," said customer services executive vice-president Charles Champion, speaking at the briefing.

"Launch of Quovadis is evidence of our commitment to develop further and provide new services which bring value to aircraft operators."

Airbus has signed a co-operation agreement for RNP procedure design with the French civil aviation university in Toulouse and Castres-based geographic information specialist CGx.

Champion says the airframer is recruiting for the new division, and says it wants to offer customers a "one-stop solution" for RNP.

Quovadis' services will include procedure design, packages for testing and flight operations, and training.