Etihad Airways A330 performs first optimized RNP-AR approach in Abu Dhabi.

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Reducing fuel consumption by 100 to 200kg per approach with Continuous Descent Operations and shorter trajectories
An Airbus A330-200 from Etihad Airways has performed the first high precision and environmentally efficient RNP-AR (“Required Navigation Performance – Authorization Required”) approach to Abu Dhabi International Airport. This flight marks the beginning of full RNP-AR implementation throughout Abu Dhabi’s entire terminal airspace.

These new technology approaches, designed by Airbus’ Performance Based Navigation (PBN) subsidiary, Quovadis, utilize ‘continuous descent’ operations and optimised trajectories which shorten the approach paths to the runway thereby reducing noise, flight times and minimising fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Overall, each RNP-AR approach can reduce fuel consumption by 100 to 200kg and reduce CO2 emissions by at least 20,000 tonnes per year.

Along with Airbus’ Quovadis subsidiary and Etihad Airways, other partners in this project include: Abu Dhabi Airport Company (ADAC), UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), and ADAC’s Air Traffic Controllers.

Etihad Airways Chief Operations Officer, Richard Hill, says: “This project is very important for us and we are pleased to have partnered with Quovadis, ADAC and GCAA to make Abu Dhabi’s air space more efficient. Etihad Airways is keen on promoting efficient flights with as little environmental impact as possible.” He adds: “We are looking forward to flying RNP-AR approaches in Abu Dhabi and in other destinations where they have been implemented.”

Christian Scherer, Executive Vice President of strategy and future programmes at Airbus says: “This project illustrates the potential for better Air Traffic Management (ATM) practices. Airbus has assembled a suite of innovative technologies and procedures to optimize operations in busy airspaces.”

Sebastien Borel, Commercial Director of Quovadis says: “Changing airspace and bringing new concepts is always very challenging and here this has been achieved through cooperation and coordination. Indeed, the team in Abu Dhabi is committed to bring what is best to their airspace.”

Last year Quovadis was contracted by Etihad Airways and ADAC to develop RNP-AR procedures for both Abu Dhabi International and Al Bateen Airport. Only nine months later, all Abu Dhabi International Airport approaches were approved and Al Bateen executive airport procedures will be submitted to the authorities before year end.

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