Aircraft operators and regulators attending this week’s Approach15 expert forum were intrigued and impressed by the normalisation of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) in New Zealand, according to Airways.
The New Zealand air navigation service provider convened Approach15 in Queenstown last week. The forum attracted about 70 PBN experts from aviation organisations across New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific, and discussed the possibilities of PBN to unlock efficiencies for airports and airlines across all operational levels.
Airways Chief Operating Officer Pauline Lamb says that excellent discussions were held with all operators attending, including airlines and industry regulators.
“While jet operators echoed our thoughts of normalising PBN, and are quite far along that track, we are particularly excited by the emergence of the next generation of operators interested in PBN,” she says.
“At Approach 15 we were able to demonstrate the immense difference that Advanced RNP technology will make in New Zealand, so operators could recognise and visualise the benefits of this procedure design standard,” says Ms Lamb.
“Smaller airlines can reap the benefits of the experience and training provided by those already using PBN, and Approach15 provided them with the ability to leverage these to their advantage,” said Ms Lamb.
Kelvin Sissons, Mount Cook Airlines’ RNP-AR Project Manager, agrees. “After seeing an Advanced RNP case study based on Palmerston North we are excited about the massive track savings, fuel savings and not having to fly over the ranges,” he says.
Advanced RNP standards were released by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in November, and the team at leading PBN provider GroupEAD undertook training in December so they could demonstrate the benefits at Approach15. Mount Cook Airlines will soon move into simulator trials using the technology, becoming the first airline in the region to do so.
Approach15 also provided a forum for topical discussions on RNAV visual approaches, a concept which has not yet been well defined with an international standard.
The Civil Aviation Authority, New Zealand’s aviation industry regulator, attended the forum and undertook to work though policy issues in a robust way, in consultation with the industry, and determine the necessary advisory material. The CAA also gave attendees an overview of New Southern Sky, The New Zealand National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan.
The annual forum, held on 17-18 February, was convened by Airways in association with GroupEAD to expand the PBN capabilities across the Pacific region and coordinate collaborations between the invited organisations.