Seeking to put in place a more secure and safe landing system and save fuel, IndiGo Airlines on Saturday conducted the first-ever required navigation performance (RNP) approach in regular airline operations while landing at Kochi their scheduled flight from Bengaluru.
IndiGo has collaborated with Quovadis, a subsidiary of Airbus, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), and the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to put in place a safe landing procedure at the Kochi International Airport.
IndiGo has become the first carrier in India authorised to implement this effective, fuel-saving practice. The Kochi International Airport is India’s seventh busiest airport, and equipped with one Instrument Landing System (ILS) on runway 27 and a VOR (both ground based installations) that are used for guidance for landing procedures on both ends of the runway.
The RNP procedure brings great benefits to both the authorities and the airline and enable accurate flight path on contained and secure trajectories; a shorter flight path, saving 75 Km on each approach, which is approximately 400 Kg of fuel saving per landing and a corresponding amount of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; freedom from dependence on conventional ground-based navigation installations by using on board systems and GPS and easier traffic management in non-radar environments.
The entire process that has been successfully validated on Airbus simulators and in the aircraft has now been flown successfully in regular commercial operations by IndiGo on its Airbus A320 on Friday.
Aditya Ghosh, president, IndiGo said the company was looking forward to commercially flying RNP approaches at Kochi airport in the future. “This new technology will enable tangible cost savings, which in turn will have a positive impact on our overall operational efficiency. But more importantly, we are excited about partnering in this significant step towards improving air traffic management in India and making it an even safer and greener environment to fly in,’’ he added.
RNP approaches, which can be flown by all IndiGo aircraft, are a great way to achieve savings while promoting safety. This form of navigation has the necessary flexibility to optimise and protect trajectories from terrain and obstacles. The RNP project in Kochi has been co-financed by Airbus and the French Civil Aviation Authority. The task was led by Quovadis, a wholly owned Airbus subsidiary dedicated to performance-based navigation (PBN).