A China Eastern Airlines (CEA) Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 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).
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 (CAAC), 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.
"I'm proud that Boeing and China continue to build on their long history of working together for the advancement of aviation in the region," Mooney added.
Previously, Boeing teamed with CAAC and Air China in 2004 in a successful RNP demonstration at Lhasa Gongga Airport, with three world firsts: first 757 RNP flight, first RNP flight at an airport with an elevation over 11,000 feet; and first RNP flight in Asia. Last year, Boeing in cooperation with China Eastern Airlines, CAAC and the FAA completed a 737-700 RNP flight into Linzhi Airport in Tibet.