JetBlue Airways was awarded FAA approval to fly Required Navigation Performance- Authorization Required (RNP AR) approaches to Runways 13L and 13R at its home base at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport with its fleet of Airbus A320.
The non-public approach, which was designed by MITRE Corp., will utilize a constant vertical descent, in conjunction with a precise curved flight path, designed to stabilize the approach path, reduce flight times, reduce noise levels and increase fuel savings by as much as 18 gallons per flight for the airline. The RNP AR approach procedure will allow JetBlue to utilize a decision altitude while in a slight turn to the runway, the first airline in the United States to harness this special capability, according to the airline. The airline plans to extend the unique capability at JFK to its Embraer E190 fleet in the near future.
"These new procedures increase traffic flow predictability and efficiency in the notoriously unpredictable New York Metro air space, allowing us to get customers from point A to point B much more efficiently while reducing our environmental impact," said Capt. Joe DeVito, manager flight standards compliance at JetBlue. "In addition, the time and money saved by flying shorter routes and reducing fuel consumption can be re-invested into further enhancing our product for customers and adding more flights to the places they want to go."
JetBlue began designing and testing the JFK special instrument procedures in 2004. The airline said its 2,300 pilots have been trained and certified at JetBlue's flight simulator training facility in Orlando, Fla., to fly RNP AR procedures across the United States.
"The activation of the 13L RNP procedure at JFK is a success for NextGen and a catalyst for increased safety and reduced emissions across the National Airspace System," said Jeff Martin, JetBlue's senior vice president of operations. "We are proud to play such a vital role in this industry-leading initiative along with the FAA and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey."