UPS begins environmental- and capacity-enhancing operations at Louisville

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A UPS Boeing 757 equipped with an electronic flight bag (EFB), automatic-dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) equipment and software applications developed by ACSS was slated to perform the carrier's first operational "next-generation" continuous descent arrival (CDA) into its Louisville, Kentucky hub on 17 January as part of a technology insertion programme.

Called Saferoute, the surveillance system will allow UPS pilots to perform self-spacing with other similarly equipped UPS aircraft in the air or on the ground through ADS-B-provided position information displayed on the EFB.

The system is also set up for next-generation CDAs, low-power approaches which UPS says will yield a 30% reduction in noise, a 10-15% increase in capacity and a 34% cut in emissions at altitudes below 3,000ft (915m). Fuel savings could be significant as well, with early tests indicating the potential for more than 380 million litres (1 million USgal) saved each year at Louisville if the entire fleet is equipped.

UPS defines next-generation CDAs as approaches on which the pilots have responsibility for self-spacing while air traffic controllers retain the authority to ensure aircraft separation. The carrier eventually plans to equip its existing fleet of 107 Boeing 757s and 767s with the equipment and will have it installed from the factory on 10 new 747s and 26 new 767s.

CDAs are in place for both of Louisville's runways for arrivals from the west, says UPS, and additional procedures for east side arrivals are being developed. The airline plans to increase the number of pilots trained to use the equipment, currently 12, as more aircraft are equipped or delivered.

The US Federal Aviation Administration granted UPS operational approval for the system on 28 December.

More about the Saferoute programme at flightglobal.com/saferoutedemo