Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Southwest starts using RNP procedures at 11 airports

Southwest Airlines this month commenced Required Navigation Performance procedures for approaches at 11 airports, asserting that "these new efficient flight procedures and enhanced avionics" will save the LCC $16 million annually. The airports at which SWA is inaugurating RNP are Amarillo, Birmingham, Boise, Corpus Christi, Los Angeles, Chicago Midway, Oakland, Oklahoma City, West Palm Beach, Raleigh-Durham and San Jose.

It added that full implementation of RNP at all airports it serves would lead to more than $60 million in reduced costs annually. SWA has modified more than 444 aircraft with GPS and RNP software, including transitioning 343 737NGs from EFIS to PFD/ND, and completed more than 30,000 pilot training events

The Dallas-based airline said in a statement that implementing RNP procedures marks the "culmination of a four-year project with partners Boeing, GE and Honeywell." VP and COO Mike Van de Ven added, "This milestone culminates substantial efforts by our company working with the FAA to position Southwest as a leading participant in a modernized air traffic control system."

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