American Airlines Uses Naverus RNP

By Tish Drake | August 31, 2010
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An American Airlines flight on Aug. 26 became the first-ever U.S. flight to use a publicly available, commercial designed Required Navigation Performance approach, according to GE Aviation and its Naverus subsidiary. American Airlines 737 NG touched down at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Lakes, Conn., from Dallas/Fort Worth.

"Today’s event marks a significant milestone for the flying public by augmenting the means to develop and deploy airspace improvements in the U.S. that will translate to fewer delays, less air pollution and greater system reliability," said Naverus General Manager Steve Forte. "Modernizing the U.S. air traffic management system is a monumental task that requires the best efforts of government and private sectors alike. Today we showed how third-party navigation providers, like GE, and airlines, like American, are helping accelerate these improvements."

The new landing procedure, which became a permanent fixture at Bradley Airport today, allows pilots to use onboard technology to follow a precise track, independent of aging ground-based navigation beacons that limit where the aircraft can go. As a result, the Bradley procedure will enable airliners to land on Runway 15 during periods of low clouds and visibility that previously would have stopped them from landing there. GE said it is working with FAA and other regulatory bodies and navigation service providers around the world to develop the capability for aircraft to share optimized flight trajectories with air traffic control in real time, and to "negotiate" modifications to those trajectories when necessary.

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