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Jan 122011
 

From Green Right Now Reports

Required Navigation Performance uses satellite-based navigation.

Southwest Airlines announced its pilots will begin more efficient flight procedures today at 11 airports nationwide. The airline said the program will reduce its planes’ environmental impact and will help the Federal Aviation Administration’s advanced initiatives.

The culmination of a four-year project with partners Boeing, GE, and Honeywell, Southwest executives said “Required Navigation Performance” uses satellite-based navigation that brings together the accuracy of GPS (Global Positioning System), the capabilities of advanced aircraft avionics, and new flight procedures.

“RNP sets the stage for Southwest to continue doing its part to conserve fuel, improve safety, and reduce carbon emissions and Greenhouse gases, while simultaneously taking advantage of the high-performance characteristics that exist in an airline’s fleet,” Captain Jeff Martin, Southwest’s Vice President of the Operations Coordination Center, said in a statement.

The first airports to use the new efficient procedures include Amarillo, Birmingham, Boise, Corpus Christi, Los Angeles, Chicago Midway, Oakland, Oklahoma City, West Palm Beach, Raleigh-Durham and San Jose. Southwest projects savings of $16 million a year, but said it expects savings of more than $60 million per year once all Southwest airports are using efficient RNP procedures.

In addition to modifying 345 Boeing 737-700s with new flight display software and ensuring that all new aircraft are RNP ready, the airline said it employed new training efforts to achieve this milestone.

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