Australia's Qantas Airways has deployed required navigational performance (RNP) technology on all its Boeing 737-800 aircraft that fly to and from Melbourne, helping it to save fuel.

RNP uses GPS to help pilots optimise flight approach and departure tracks containing curves and vertical profiles that could not be flown accurately using ground-based navigation aids, says Qantas's group executive for government and corporate affairs, David Epstein. "This results in shorter flight paths, limiting the amount of fuel emissions we are generating."

Epstein says RNP technology enables aircraft to land in poor weather at some airports where previously they could not have done. "It is often the case that our RNP-equipped 737s can land in bad weather, where other aircraft can't."

Source: Flight International