A China Eastern Airlines Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 has completed a flight into China's Lijiang Airport to validate the capability and benefits of an advanced navigation method known as required navigation performance.
RNP uses global-positioning satellites and onboard flight-management systems to guide airplanes along precise flight paths with pinpoint accuracy. RNP flight procedures provide operators a highly effective tool to enable safe and efficient operations in challenging terrain and weather conditions, such as those at Lijiang, in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. Advanced arrival procedures like RNP will allow airlines to significantly save on fuel and reduce flight delays by enabling airplanes to fly the most direct route to the runway.
Boeing, Jeppesen, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, and CEA have been working together to expand new air traffic routes in China using this sophisticated technology. The RNP arrival and departure procedures for Lijiang were designed by Jeppesen, a wholly-owned Boeing subsidiary.
"RNP represents a larger effort to improve the efficiency, capacity and environmental performance of the global air transportation system" said Dan Mooney, vice president of Regulatory Affairs for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.