No-frill carrier IndiGo on Saturday became the first Indian airline to carry out a landing at the Kochi airport using Required Navigation Performance App-roach, a system that allows an aircraft to be guided by a sophisticated on-board navigation system instead of ground-based equipment. The system will also shorten the distance on each approach by 75 km and lead to fuel saving of 400 kg on each landing.
The system is being implemented only at Kochi airport at present and is useful at airports that have no ground instruments like Instrument Landing System. Other airlines too are training crew for RNP approach but are yet to receive an approval.
RNP, by allowing the use of on-board systems and satellite-based Global Positi-oning System, frees the plane from dependence on conventional ground-based navigation installations. An airline spokesperson said first plane to use the RNP approach flew from Bangalore on Saturday.
IndiGo collaborated with Airbus subsidiary Quovadis and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to develop and implement the RNP procedure for Kochi airport, after it was successfully validated on Airbus simulators and the planes.
IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh said, "We are excited about partnering in this significant step towards improving air traffic management in India and making it an even safer and greener environment to fly in. The development of more such approaches in India will also go a long way towards improving safety and efficiency."
IndiGo had organised the first test flight with RNP approach at Kochi on December eight last year.