Jetstar set to introduce latest navigation technology for New Zealand operations

Low fares leader Jetstar will introduce the latest in Required Navigation Performance (RNP)* with the airline’s entire fleet of New Zealand aircraft to be equipped with the technology in time for the 2010 winter. (*Subject to regulatory approval).

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.

Last month Jetstar successfully conducted trial A320 flights into Queenstown Airport and Gold Coast Airport in Australia using RNP – Authorisation Required (RNP-AR) procedures.

Jetstar will introduce the latest RNP navigation standard of Step 3 from 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 below 0.2* following a staged implementation.

Adaption of the 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.

Jetstar Chief Executive Officer Bruce Buchanan said the success of these flights paved the way for a June 2010* introduction of the technology, subject to regulatory approval and will initially be rolled out on Jetstar’s domestic New Zealand services to Queenstown.

Mr Buchanan said it followed approvals of Jetstar’s adaption of the technology by both Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) under Australia New Zealand Aviation (ANZA) privileges.

“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 operations,” Mr Buchanan said.

“To be implemented first in New Zealand, Jetstar will then set about making RNP-AR available across all Jetstar aircraft and our wider network. Its application will achieve stronger on-time-performance metrics across our services, improve customer satisfaction, shorter flight paths and lower fuel burn costs that will help keep our fares low.

“Upon introduction we anticipate, barring very adverse weather conditions, to reduce flight diversions in Queenstown this New Zealand winter by over 90 percent and provide fresh impetus to ski tourism activity.”

Jetstar operates up to 84 weekly return flights on its domestic New Zealand network that includes daily direct services to Queenstown from both Auckland and Christchurch.

Jetstar’s on-time performance of flight arrivals within 15 minutes during 2010 is 85 per cent across its New Zealand domestic operations.

“The future introduction of RNP-AR* will provide us with another tool to improve on this high level of performance in the New Zealand market,” 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).

Final implementation of a phased approval process for the newest standard RNP is now continuing.

*Subject to regulatory approval

About Jetstar

About Jetstar Group

Jetstar first took to the skies in 2004 and has since flown more than 350 million customers across an extensive international and domestic network. The Jetstar Group is made up of Jetstar Airways (subsidiary of the Qantas Group) in Australia and New Zealand, Jetstar Asia in Singapore, and Jetstar Japan in Japan. A leading low-fares airline, Jetstar is committed to offering everyday low fares to enable more people to fly to more places, more often. As one of Asia Pacific’s fastest-growing airline brands, Jetstar was voted Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia Pacific in 2021 and was recognized for its excellent flight safety records and services when listed on the "2022 World's Top 10 LCC" released by Airline Ratings.