Southwest Airlines will install
Rockwell Collins GPS-4000S systems in more than 200 of its 737 fleet starting
this year as part of its development of required navigation performance (RNP)
RNP procedures allow an aircraft to
fly along a precise, pre-defined 3d path that can be tailored to reduce delays
or minimize fuel burn, noise and emissions. In addition to GPS and enhanced
flight management systems (FMS), onboard equipment for RNP generally includes
displays that allow pilots to monitor navigation performance.
“Using RNP navigation for more
precise approaches enables Southwest Airlines to enhance the travelling
experience for its customers, while reducing fuel emissions and noise,” says
Patricia O’Connell, senior director of communication and navigation programs
for Rockwell Collins.
The carrier in May 2007 signed an
agreement with FAA-approved RNP procedure developer, Naverus, to jointly develop tailored approaches and
the policies, procedures and the training materials needed to implement them.
Southwest in October contracted with GE Aviation to provide FMS upgrades to the
same fleet through 2009, a required enhancement to support RNP.
According to Flight’s ACAS database, Southwest owns 219 737 classics,
consisting of 194 737-300s and 25 737-500s.