GE supports China Southern launch of first RNP flight to Linzhi

Environmental Operations

Beijing - With GE Aviation RNP’s service, China Southern launched the first Required Navigation Performance flight including a route flown from Guangzhou-Linzhi-Guangzhou. The flight landed in Linzhi at 9:51 AM local time on March 19.

“China Southern has been dedicated to implementing RNP solutions to increase access and reliability into remote regions,” said Michael Thompson, general manager of GE Aviation’s Digital Solutions. “GE is proud to work with the team to help modernize today’s air traffic systems while decreasing carbon emissions. The new RNP procedure will enable airlines to better serve the region which breaks the history of no flight after sundown in Lhasa and breaks the record of the longest route from Linzhi at this time.”

GE Aviation designed procedures for China Southern Airlines’ fleet of Airbus A319s at Linzhi. The 95-mile approach into the airport is considered to be one of the most challenging commercial jetliner landings. Without RNP, Linzhi is only accessible 100 days a year, in daylight, due to adverse weather conditions. In 2008, GE assisted China Southern in implementing RNP solutions at Lhasa airport, validating the Airbus A319 and A330 aircraft.

One of the leaders from Flight Standard Management Department of China Southern appraised that this technology makes it possible for China Southern to serve non-stop flights from Guangzhou to Linzhi.

Up to 75% of clients who operate from Linzhi are using procedures designed by GE. GE has worked with airlines in China since 2004 to implement an extensive network of RNP procedures throughout China to save the airline fuel, emissions, track miles and reduce flight delays and cancellations. The new RNP transitions will greatly reduce flight track miles for approach and departure paths to the West.

GE continues to expand the RNP network in China by implementing procedures with Air China, Sichuan Airlines, China Southern, China Eastern, Hainan Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, Chengdu Airlines, Chongqing Airlines, Lucky Air, West Air etc. and at eight airports in China including Linzhi, Lhasa, Lijiang, Bangda, Yushu, Jiuzhai, Xi Chang and Rikaze.

PBN (performance-based navigation) engages the full potential of the aircraft to fly precisely-defined paths without relying on ground-based radio-navigation signals. RNP, a form of PBN, ensures the aircraft precisely follows the path and provides additional navigational flexibility, such as custom-tailored, curved paths through mountainous terrain or in congested airspace.

RNP procedures can be deployed at any airport, allowing aircraft to fly very precise paths with an accuracy of less than a wingspan. This precision allows pilots to land the aircraft in weather conditions that would otherwise require them to hold, divert to another airport, or even to cancel the flight before departure. In addition, since the procedures are very precise, they can be designed to shorten the distance an aircraft has to fly enroute, and to reduce noise, fuel burn and exhaust emissions. Because of RNP’s precision and reliability, the technology can help air traffic controllers reduce flight delays and alleviate air traffic congestion.

GE Aviation is a global leader in the development and implementation of Performance-based Navigation and is working with aircraft operators and air traffic management providers in China, South and Central America, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Europe to implement PBN solutions.