AirAsia Bhd has become the first Malaysian operator to obtain approval from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to fly the Required Navigation Performance Authorisation Required Approach (RNP-AR APCH) flight paths.
The DCA granted the approval after the successful validation of the flight paths in Penang, the airline statement said today.
RNP-AR APCH procedures can shorten the distance an aircraft has to fly en-route, reduce fuel burn, exhaust emissions and noise pollution in communities near airports, which can help air traffic controllers trim flight delays and alleviate air traffic congestion.
AirAsia has collaborated with GE Aviation, a subsidiary of General Electric, and DCA on the nationwide flight path programme since 2012 to improve operational efficiency at 15 local airports.
Giovanni Spitale, GE Aviation Flight Efficiency Services General Manager said the flight paths can save nearly 12 nautical miles per approach at Penang, 23 nautical miles at the Kuching Airport and 18 nautical miles at Kota Bharu, compared with the standard terminal arrival.
"Once the flight paths are in place at 15 airports in Malaysia, AirAsia expects to save up to RM1 million a year from reduced fuel costs," he was quoted as saying in the statement.