SEATTLE, 10 May 2012. Performance-based Navigation (PBN) flight paths designed by GE were validated at Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport in the Sichuan Province of China. The event marks the first public PBN project initiated by a Chinese airport. The paths will be available to all approved aircraft operators: Air China, China Eastern, and Sichuan Airlines will fly the precise flight paths.
PBN technology allows aircraft to fly precisely-defined flight paths without relying on ground-based, radio-navigation signals. Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedures, an advanced form of PBN technology, can be designed to shorten the distance an aircraft has to fly en-route, and to reduce fuel burn, exhaust emissions, and noise pollution in communities near airports. The technology can help air traffic controllers reduce flight delays and alleviate air traffic congestion.
“The PBN paths will not only improve aircraft performance and reliability into the region, but will help streamline air traffic management and improve airport capacity as well,” says Giovanni Spitale, general manager for GE Aviation’s PBN Services.
Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport is located at 11,311 feet in the Min Shan mountain range, where the steep terrain can make airport access challenging, especially during poor weather operations. The GE-designed, accurate PBN paths will improve airport access and payload for qualified operators, while providing an optimized lateral and vertical guidance to the runway. GE also harmonized the approach and departure paths to allow for simultaneous PBN operations, says a spokesperson.
“Safety, efficiency, and service reliability are top priorities for our airspace customers,” explains Mr. Zhu, deputy general manager of the Jiuzhai airport. “The PBN paths will help us to better ensure their needs are met, while streamlining our airspace operations.”
Partnering with airlines, air navigation service providers (ANSP), regulatory agencies, and airports, GE Aviation is implementing technologies that enable 4D gate-to-gate operations while alleviating flight delays and airspace congestion.