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Required Navigation Performance Flight Paths Go Live In Brazil

Brazil’s first Required Navigation Performance (RNP) flight procedures are approved for operational use, following a successful validation flight by GOL on May 5. The procedures will improve access and capacity at Santos Dumont Airport, while reducing fuel burn and carbon emissions for GOL and other approved airlines that fly them.

Brazil’s air navigation service provider DECEA designed the RNP procedures, with technical support and assistance from GE. Brazil’s aviation regulator ANAC validated and approved the procedures, while at the same time granting RNP operations approval to GOL. The first Brazilian airline to gain RNP operations approval, GOL expects to begin flying the procedures in its fleet of Boeing 737s in the coming months.

“This is a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to streamline its air traffic management system as it prepares to host the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016,” said Giovanni Spitale, general manager of GE’s PBN Services. “We congratulate DECEA, ANAC and GOL on this achievement - GE is proud to have played a role.” GE’s PBN experts supported the Brazilian stakeholders on the design, validation and deployment of the procedures and on GOL’s RNP operational approval.

Santos Dumont is a challenging flight environment because operators must navigate mountainous areas and complex airspace when arriving and departing the airport. In addition, there are 100,000 residents in the airport community who are affected by aircraft noise. DECEA designed a procedure with a continuous decent arrival (CDA) in order to reduce noise, operating minima and improve capacity. The procedures also will eliminate non-precision approaches and reduce the risk associated with controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) near the airport.

“Using RNP AR, the pilot can perform a precise and constant trajectory, reducing the minimum decision height,” said Adalberto Bogsan, technical vice president of GOL. “This provides better visualization of the runway, assuring a more safe and comfortable landing.”

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