An Etihad Airways Airbus A330-200 has become the first aircraft in the region to perform the environment friendly RNP-AR (Required Navigation Performance – Authorization Required) approach to Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The demonstration flight which arrived from Bahrain today marks the beginning of full RNP-AR implementation within Abu Dhabi’s airspace.
This high precision navigation technology, designed by Airbus’ Performance Based Navigation (PBN) subsidiary, Quovadis, utilizes continuous descent operations and shorter trajectories that in turn shorten the approach paths to the runway thereby reducing noise, flight times and minimising fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
This will reduce the fuel consumption between 100 and 200 kg per approach resulting in a reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 20,000 tonnes per year.
Along with Etihad Airways and Quovadis, other partners in this project include the Abu Dhabi Airport Company (ADAC), UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), and ADAC’s Air Traffic Controllers.
Etihad Airways’ Chief Operations Officer, Richard Hill, said: “Etihad Airways is keen on promoting efficient flights with as little environmental impact as possible. This project is very important for us and we are pleased to have partnered with Quovadis, ADAC and GCAA to make Abu Dhabi’s air space more efficient.
“We are looking forward to flying RNP-AR approaches in Abu Dhabi and in other destinations where they have been implemented.”
Sebastien Borel, Quovadis’ Commercial Director said: “Changing airspace and bringing new concepts is always very challenging and here this has been achieved through cooperation and coordination. Indeed, the team in Abu Dhabi is committed to bring what is best to their airspace.”
Following the success of this demonstration flight, the procedures will be published this summer and flown on a daily basis pending approval from the UAE regulatory authority.
Other airlines will also be able to fly these procedures, provided they have received the proper operational approval from their authorities.
“This project illustrates the potential for better Air Traffic Management (ATM) practices. Airbus has assembled a suite of innovative technologies and procedures to optimize operations in busy airspaces,” Christian Scherer, Airbus’ Executive Vice President of strategy and future programs said.
Less than a year ago, Quovadis was contracted by Etihad Airways and ADAC to develop RNP-AR procedures for both Abu Dhabi International and Al Bateen Airports. Today the Abu Dhabi International Airport approaches have been approved and the Al Bateen Executive Airport procedures will be submitted to the authorities before the year’s end.