Jetstar introduces latest navigation technology for New Zealand operations
Low fares leader Jetstar has introduced the latest in Required Navigation Performance (RNP) with the airline’s entire fleet of New Zealand aircraft now operating with the technology.
Required Navigation Performance leverages Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to support pilots and is a type of performance-based navigation that enables aircraft to fly between two three-dimensionally defined points in airspace.
Earlier this year Jetstar successfully conducted trial A320 flights into Queenstown Airport and Gold Coast Airport in Australia using RNP – Authorisation Required (RNP-AR) procedures.
These procedures have now been applied to its existing daily direct A320 services from Auckland and Christchurch to Queenstown Airport situated in the south island of New Zealand.
Jetstar has introduced the latest RNP navigation standard of Step 3 from the aircraft
manufacturer Airbus to determine an aircraft’s position and altitude to ensure separation from terrain to below RNP 0.3, with further capability to descend to RNP 0.2* following a phased implementation. (*Subject to regulatory approval)
Jetstar Chief Executive Officer Bruce Buchanan said the introduction of RNP, would in the popular ski and adventure destination of Queenstown, reduce its estimated number of diversions due to bad weather from over 10 percent to less than 1 percent moving forward.
Mr Buchanan said the introduction of the technology, initially on Jetstar’s domestic New Zealand services to Queenstown, would form the platform for its broader roll-out across the value based carrier’s A320 family fleet at a cost of up to AUD$10 million.
“The introduction of RNP-AR to our New Zealand fleet is a major step for us and is the latest example of our airline making a continued investment in innovation for the benefit of our passengers and efficient low cost operations,” Mr Buchanan said.
“Implemented first in our domestic New Zealand operations, Jetstar will now set about making RNP-AR available across all Jetstar aircraft and our wider network.
“Adaption of this technology’s latest standard by Jetstar will reduce flight diversions in poor weather and low visibility conditions, and will also allow for new, improved flight paths saving time and lowering fuel costs. Its application we believe will translate into even stronger on-time-performance metrics across our services and improve customer satisfaction,” Mr Buchanan said.
The RNP-AR procedures adopted by Jetstar were developed by Naverus, part of GE Aviation, and a global leader in the development and implementation of Performance-based Navigation (PBN).
The Jetstar Group is one of Asia Pacific’s fastest growing airline brands with one of the most extensive ranges of destinations in the region. It is made up of Jetstar Airways (subsidiary of the Qantas Group) in Australia and New Zealand, Jetstar Asia in Singapore, Jetstar Pacific in Vietnam, and Jetstar Japan in Japan. Jetstar branded carriers operate up to 5,000 flights a week to more than 85 destinations. The Jetstar Group carried more than 37 million passengers in financial year 2017.