Tom Maier, CNS/ATM Manager at Airbus, witnessing Europe's first RNP approach for ATM and environmental purposes on AVTECH's Airbus A320 simulator
Tue 7 Apr 2009 – A new six month project has been launched that will trial Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedures during descent and approach at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport by an Airbus A321 aircraft operated by Novair. The Minimum CO2 in TMA (MINT) project will demonstrate how CO2 emissions and noise reductions can be achieved by optimizing the vertical profile and reducing the distance of the lateral track during operations through the use of RNP. The project, with an anticipated 10 demonstration flight trials taking place, is being undertaken under the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE).
The RNP procedures have been designed by the Swedish LFV Group, the air navigation service provider and airport operator, to minimize track miles – up to 14 nautical miles – and circumnavigate noise sensitive areas. It is the first RNP procedure that has been developed for this purpose in Europe.
Five of the demonstration flights will operate under a time constraint at the TMA (Terminal Manoeuvring or Control Area) entry point in order to represent a future possible scenario where an arrival manager at the airport manages the arrival sequence by assigning a Controlled Time of Arrival (CTA).
Swedish air navigation technology company AVTECH is the MINT project leader and other partners, apart from LFV and Novair, include Egis Avia (ground system) and Airbus. Thales Avionics, Thales Air Systems and GE Aviation will participate as part of an Expert Advisory Group.
“The MINT project will demonstrate the most efficient operation with the least environmental impact possible with today’s modern aircraft and it will serve as a good reference for SESAR JU in the development of the Single European Sky,” commented MINT project leader, Christer Forsberg of AVTECH.
The planning phase of the project is currently being finalized and the flight trials are planned for this summer, with a dedicated demonstration flight for EU officials, VIP and the media in the early autumn. The project is planned to be completed by the end of this coming October.
AIRE is an agreement between the European Commission and the FAA that aims to reduce CO2 emissions and accelerate the pace of change by taking advantage of air traffic management best practices and mature technologies. It is expected to accelerate the implementation of environmentally friendly procedures for all phases of flight and to validate the benefits of these improvements. The SESAR Joint Undertaking is responsible for the management of AIRE in Europe. SESAR has an objective to reduce CO2 emissions by 10% through more efficient operations as well as reducing noise in areas neighbouring airports.
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