Published on : Saturday, March 11, 2017
Denver International Airport (DEN), in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airlines, has surpassed 50,000 aircraft approaches using cutting-edge arrival procedures – marking a major milestone in the implementation of NextGen technology in Denver.
Since 2010, DEN has worked closely with the FAA, Jeppesen, major airlines and Rocky Mountain and Centennial airports to implement NextGen, which is an umbrella term for the FAA’s ongoing, wide-ranging transformation of the National Airspace System. At the most basic level, NextGen represents an evolution from a ground-based system of air traffic control to a satellite-based system of air traffic management.
In 2013, DEN was the first commercial airport to implement a truly comprehensive plan of Area Navigation (RNAV) from the beginning that allows aircraft to fly more predictable and smoother approaches into Denver that reduce fuel consumption and residential noise. Denver also implemented comprehensive Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedures. RNP is an advanced form of aircraft navigation that includes the ability of aircraft to automatically monitor and alert pilots about the accuracy of satellite-based routes. This onboard monitoring and alerting capability enhances a pilot’s situational awareness and reduces the reliance on air traffic control intervention.
In February, the FAA recorded the 50,000th aircraft approach at DEN using this advanced RNP procedure. RNP allows pilots to fly tightly controlled, predictable approach paths that don’t require aircraft controllers to block large areas of space around aircraft to account for previously more variable flight paths. This new technology also helps more evenly balance aircraft arrivals across DEN’s six runways.
“Denver International Airport has worked closely with the FAA and our airline partners for many years to redesign our airspace and implement technology that has put DEN on the leading edge of the transformation of our National Airspace System,” airport CEO Kim Day said. “This collaboration is saving airlines significant time and money, while reducing our environmental footprint of aircraft operations. We are exceedingly proud of this ongoing collaboration to make DEN one of the most efficient airports in the world.”
The RNP procedures that DEN established in 2013 are estimated to save equipped aircraft 7.9 million pounds of fuel per year – which equals about $4 million annually.
DEN continues to work with airport stakeholders toward even more advanced procedures that are expected to resulting in even greater cost savings to the airlines due to reduced fuel consumption.
“NextGen is improving the safety and efficiency of the national airspace system and providing significant benefits for the traveling public, airports, operators and the U.S. economy,” said KC Yanamura, the FAA’s regional administrator for the Northwest Mountain Region. “Denver is a major player in the system and began to embrace NextGen very early on. The airport has been a valued partner of ours in delivering more on-time flights, reducing fuel burn and ensuring that we have the safest aviation system in the world.”
“The Denver NextGen project has been and continues to be a great success because of the very strong and unique partnership that has been created between the FAA and airlines,” said Capt. Ben Dwyer, Airbus program manager for Frontier Airlines. “This milestone of 50,000 RNP approaches culminates substantial efforts from all parties working together and sets the stage for the industry to continue doing our part to improve safety, conserve fuel and reduce carbon emissions.”
“We are proud of the work that, through the partnership involving Denver International Airport, air traffic controllers, and the operator community, has laid the groundwork to achieve the milestone 50,000 RNP approach at Denver,” said Rick Dalton, director of airspace and flow management at Southwest Airlines. “These procedures set the stage for a new national standard for the use of RNP – one of the core elements of the FAA’s NextGen program, and help reduce noise, carbon emissions, track miles, and fuel burn, all of which benefit the community, our customers and airline operations.”
“NextGen technology helps us better serve our customers by improving reliability, enhancing safety and increasing efficiency,” said Michael Quiello, United’s vice president of safety. “United continues to pursue innovation in everything that we do, and the growing implementation of NextGen technology will further improve the travel experience for customers across our network.”
Source:- Fly Denver