ATM Modernization, Commercial, Embedded Avionics

Denver International Airport Flies 30,000 RNP Approaches

By Juliet Van Wagenen | March 3, 2016
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[Avionics Today 03-03-2016] Denver International Airport (DEN) has flown 30,000 Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approaches, according to Southwest, an advocate in RNP implementation working alongside the FAA, airport administrators, and industry stakeholders to develop and implement fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly RNP procedures for wide scale usage at airports across the nation.

Denver International Airpor
Denver International Airport. Photo: Denver International Airport

RNP procedures are high-performance, GPS-based, continuous-descent approaches that enhance safety, provide greater fuel efficiency, and reduce track miles with lower carbon emission and noise generation, compared to conventional procedures. RNP approaches can reduce flying by 3 to 5 miles during visual approaches and by up to 20 miles during instrument approaches at DEN. These flights follow highly predictable paths to allow descents at idle power from high altitude cruise, producing the quietest and most fuel-efficient arrival.

“The success of this program could not have been possible without coordinated support and the leadership of Denver Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center, and Denver International Airport,” said Alan Kasher, vice president flight operations at Southwest Airlines.

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