AirAsia received approval to fly Required Navigation Performance (RNP) flight paths in Malaysia, with support from GE Aviation. The Malaysia Department of Civil Aviation Authority (DCA), the regulator and air navigation service provider, granted the nation’s first RNP operations approval November 28 th following a successful RNP flight validation conducted at Penang October 18 th.
GE Aviation, AirAsia and the DCA have collaborated on the nation-wide flight path program since 2012 to improve operational efficiency at 15 airports in Malaysia. To date, GE Aviation’s Flight Efficiency Services has delivered flight procedures for seven airports; Penang, Kuching, Langkawi, Johor Bahru, Miri, Sibu and Kota Bharu, with the remaining eight airports to follow.
“The RNP flight paths can save the airline up to 23 NM at Kuching Airport and 18 NM at Kota Bharu, compared to the standard terminal arrival,” said Giovanni Spitale, general manager of GE Aviation’s Flight Efficiency Services. “Some of the new flight procedures, including Langkawi, provide aircraft with an instrument approach procedure and vertical guidance to runways that previously had none.” Once the flight paths are in place at the 15 airports, AirAsia expects to save up to RM1 million a year from reduced fuel costs.
With regulatory approval, AirAsia has initiated the new flight procedures at Penang, where track mile savings can yield up to 12 nautical miles (NM) per arrival. AirAsia will expand RNP operations of its fleet of A320s to the other airports in the coming weeks.Aireen Omar, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Berhad said, “This is a remarkable achievement for AirAsia and we are proud to be the first airline in Malaysia to be granted the RNP-AR APCH Operations approval. We constantly innovate and do our best to contribute more to the country and elevate the aviation infrastructure. By achieving significant mile savings, we are able to save on fuel costs and this could be translated to more low fares for our guests.”