Boarded a plane recently? You’ve no doubt noticed that air traffic delays are bad, and they’re only getting worse — much worse. In 2009, 100 million system delay minutes cost U.S. passenger airlines nearly $6.1 billion, and those numbers just keep on rising.
One thing’s for certain: We need technology to rescue our struggling air travel system. And one such technology is GE’s Required Navigation Performance (RNP) landing approaches. This technology lets planes fly precisely-defined flight paths without relying on outdated, ground-based radio navigation — rather, it works with precise satellite navigation and advanced tech aboard the aircraft, creating shorter and more efficient flight paths that reduce delays and alleviate air traffic.
According to a new study, Highways in the Sky, deploying RNP at 46 mid-size U.S. airports could save the following:
- 12.9 million gallons of fuel
- 274.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide
- 17,900 hours
- and $65.6 million in operational costs
The infographic below charts the massive effect RNP could have in 46 American cities:
In the videos below, GE Aviation Fellow and pilot Steve Fulton describes the differences between traditional flight paths and RNP-determined paths, and the practical implications of making the shift:
The video and animation below show the RNP approach at Connecticut’s Bradley Airport: