FAA Steps Closer To NextGen Navigation With Naverus Approval

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Required navigation performance (RNP) flight paths are an element of performance-based navigation (PBN) that will be a building block of NextGen air traffic control, and the FAA has now granted a letter of qualification to Naverus to design those flight paths. Naverus has pioneered development in satellite-based navigation technology for aircraft that allows more efficient and precise traffic patterns near airports that rely less on ground-based navigation aids and more on procedures and onboard equipment. In the U.S., the company has previously worked with Southwest Airlines to develop RNP procedures and it has already created more than 300 RNP procedures worldwide. Use of 28 RNP procedures the company will design in Australia are expected to reduce annual aircraft carbon dioxide emissions by 269 million pounds, according to the company. The FAA's letter of qualification is an approval that allows Naverus to develop traffic procedures in the U.S. for any airplane equipped to use them, thereby also facilitating development of the FAA's NextGen air traffic control system.

Aside from working with Southwest Airlines in the U.S., Naverus has deployed its technology in China, Central and South America, and Australia. Accelerated deployment of RNP is expected to improve airline operating efficiencies while also reducing their environmental impact, providing users with "significant environmental and economic benefits," says Naverus.