Malaysia first country in Asean to use RNP-AR APCH flight procedure

SEPANG: Malaysia is the first country in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) to use the Required Navigation Performance Authorisation Required Approach (RNP-AR APCH) as its low-cost carrier AirAsia Bhd now uses the flight procedure.

The flight procedure is designed to shorten the distance an aircraft has to fly at the airport and allows the pilot to use on board the Global Positioning System technology to follow a precise track, independent of ground-based navigation beacons.

AirAsia's Group Development and Efficiency Head, Captain Rajesh Gill, said the approach was jointly developed by AirAsia, Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and GE Aviation, a subsidiary of General Electric.

"This is a great example of how both government and private agencies have worked together to innovate and do their best to contribute more to the transportation infrastructure of the country," he told reporters on the flight procedure at AirAsia headquarters here recently.

Rajesh said AirAsia had invested RM23 million on upgrading its aircraft, attaining operational certification and training the pilots.

"Over a one-year period, AirAsia will be able to reduce its costs by up to RM9 million per year as RNP-AR APCH can save the airline on average 25 kilogrammes of fuel per flight compared to the standard approach path," he said.

Among other benefits of RNP-AR approach were a reduction in flight time, less fuel burnt, lower noise pollution and carbon emissions, he said.

He said AirAsia hailed the DCA in recognising the airline's operational capability and approving AirAsia to operate RNP-AR APCH flight paths in Malaysia.

The DCA has implemented RNP-AR APCH procedures at eight airports in Malaysia namely Johor Baru, Kota Baru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Kuala Terengganu, Langkawi, Penang and Sibu.

Soon, RNP-AR APCH flight procedure will be instigated at all 14 airports nationwide by the end of the year, said Rajesh. — Bernama