Study Shows Millions In Savings For Airlines Reduced Flight Time For
By Shane Nolan
May 11, 2011 - Airlines could save at least $65.6
million annually while slashing carbon emissions and
cutting flight times by implementing new flight paths at
46 mid-size airports across the U.S., according to study
results released by GE Aviation.
The findings of the study, Highways in the Sky, come at
a critical time in the debate on the future of our aging
national air traffic control infrastructure, where
additional investment is increasingly measured against
proven benefits to the economy, environment and the
Steve Fulton, technical fellow with GE Aviation highlighted the results on Tuesday the NextGen Ahead Air Transportation Modernization conference in Washington, DC.
GE?s Highways in the Sky study illustrates the potential for
significant economic and environmental benefit of near-term
deployment of Required Navigation Performance (RNP) landing
approaches. Although the study focused on 46 mid-sized U.S.
airports, the data and analysis supports accelerated deployment
of RNP at any airport. GE?s study of the 46 airports concludes
that deployment of RNP instrument arrivals would annually save:
?12.9 million gallons of jet fuel, or 527 round-trip flights from New York to Los Angeles
?$65.6 million, a savings equivalent to the full-time salary of 1,573 middle-class jobs
?274.6 million pounds of C02, equal to the carbon absorbed every year by 1,384,095 trees
?747 days of flight time, or roughly two years and seventeen days in the sky
?We are facing a serious global challenge as air traffic increases and our skies become more and more congested,? said Lorraine Bolsinger, President and CEO of GE Aviation Systems.
?This is an opportunity to provide tangible benefits to every stakeholder; responsible growth of an essential industry, better asset utilization, lower fuel burn and cost for airlines, greater throughput for airports and ANSPs, fewer delays for passengers, lower emissions and noise for communities and reduced dependence on foreign oil.?
RNP technology allows aircraft to fly precisely-defined trajectories without relying on outdated, ground-based radio-navigation signals. Independence from a fixed, ground based infrastructure, linked with the inherent precision of satellite navigation and advanced computer technology aboard the aircraft allow the creation of shorter, more consistent and more efficient flight paths.
The consistency and efficiency of the new flight paths can reduce
flight delays helping to alleviate costly air traffic congestion. ICAO,
the International Civil Aviation Organization has predicted that
efficiencies made possible by RNP alone can cut global CO2 emissions by
13 million metric tons per year.
The consistency and efficiency of the new flight paths can reduce flight delays helping to alleviate costly air traffic congestion. ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization has predicted that efficiencies made possible by RNP alone can cut global CO2 emissions by 13 million metric tons per year.
?There is no reason the U.S. aviation industry should be tied to a
ground-based beacon system that was developed in the 1940s,? said
Captain Brian Will, Director Airspace Modernization and Advanced
Technologies for American Airlines.
?GE Aviation?s Highways in the Sky study clearly demonstrates the
tremendous benefits realized through satellite-based navigation. RNAV
and RNP provide benefits to all airspace users. For controllers and
pilots, we have safety benefits from reduced radio transmissions and
reduced controller workload and increased pilot situational awareness.
For the airport communities, RNAV and RNP can reduce both noise and
emissions ? this is a win-win-win scenario, everyone benefits.?
Underscoring the importance of realizing these benefits, the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA)?s annual aviation forecast predicts that
domestic air travel will double in the next 20 years, reaching the 1
billion passenger mark in the U.S. alone by 2021. In addition, the total
cost of all U.S. air transportation delays is estimated at $32.9 billion
by the National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research.
In many locations around the world, RNP is already demonstrating
significant benefits. In Brisbane, Australia, government sponsored
trials demonstrated that RNP instrument approach procedures saved
aircraft operators 882,000 pounds of jet fuel a year, even though only
18 percent of the aircraft were capable of flying the procedures. Based
on those results, Airservices Australia is implementing RNP at 28
airports nationwide which it expects will save operators nearly 86
million pounds of jet fuel each year.
GE Aviation?s PBN Services? analysis projected the benefits of RNP deployment at 46 U.S. airports that either have existing published RNP procedures or a significant number of arrivals of RNP-capable aircraft. A total of six models of aircraft for 12 national airlines were included in the study.An average time savings of three minutes per flight was used to derive the average operating benefit of an aircraft flying on an RNP approach. Only direct aircraft operational savings were taken into account, which includes savings due to reductions in fuel (accounting for 41% of savings), maintenance costs and crew costs.
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