UPS starts continuous descent arrivals at Louisville

Washington DC
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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 will perform the carrier’s first operational “next generation” continuous descent arrival (CDA) into its Louisville, Kentucky hub this evening.

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 setup for next generation CDAs, 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 3,000 feet. Fuel savings could be significant as well, with early tests showing the potential for more than 1 million gallons saved per year at Louisville if the carrier’s 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 Boeing 767s with the equipment. It will be factory installed on 10 new 747s and 26 new 767s.

CDAs are in place for both of Louisville’s parallel runways for arrivals from the West, says UPS, and additional procedures for east side arrivals are being developed. Currently 12 pilots are trained to use the equipment, but UPS plans to increase that number as more aircraft are equipped or delivered.

FAA granted UPS operational approval for the system on December 28.