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AirAsia Receives RNP-AR APCH Operations Approval

The airline becomes the First Malaysian Operator to Fly New Efficient Flight Paths

KUALA LUMPUR, 13 December 2013 – AirAsia, the world’s best low cost airline for five consecutive years received the approval to fly Required Navigation Performance Authorisation Required approach (RNP-AR APCH) flight paths in Malaysia from the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA), aviation regulator and air navigation service provider.

The DCA granted AirAsia the nation’s first RNP-AR APCH operations approval after successful validation of the flight paths in Penang. Track mile savings at Penang could save AirAsia nearly 12 nautical miles per approach.

AirAsia has collaborated with GE Aviation, and DCA on the nation-wide flight path program since 2012 to improve operational efficiency at 15 airports in Malaysia. GE Aviation’s Flight Efficiency Services group has delivered procedures at Penang, Kuching, Langkawi, Johor Bahru, Miri, Sibu and Kota Bharu airports. AirAsia expects to begin flying the procedures in its fleet of A320s in the coming weeks.

Aireen Omar, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Berhad said, “This is a remarkable achievement for AirAsia and we are proud to be the first airline in Malaysia to be granted the RNP-AR APCH Operations approval. We constantly innovate and do our best to contribute more to the country and elevate the aviation infrastructure. By achieving significant mile savings, we are able to save on fuel costs and this could be translated to more low fares for our guests.”

“We would like to thank the DCA, specifically its respective Flight Operations, Airworthiness and Air Traffic Control divisions and other relevant government agencies for recognizing AirAsia’s operational capability and giving us the approval and trust to operate RNP-AR APCH flight paths in Malaysia. Special thanks to our partner, GE Aviation for the technical support and expertise to make this a reality. Kudos to all AirAsia team members involved in this great undertaking, whose hard work marks another significant milestone for us,” she added.  

Performance-based Navigation (PBN) technology allows pilots to use onboard technology to follow a precise track, independent of ground-based navigation beacons that limit where the aircraft can go. RNP-AR APCH procedures, an advanced form of PBN technology, can be designed to shorten the distance an aircraft has to fly en-route, and to reduce fuel burn, exhaust emissions and noise pollution in communities near airports.  Because of RNP-AR APCH’s precision and reliability, the technology can help air traffic controllers reduce flight delays and alleviate air traffic congestion.

AirAsia received support from its aviation partner GE, which has a suite of service offerings that increase an aircraft’s overall operational efficiency and is harnessing the power of the Industrial Internet and using software and analytics to make its machines smarter and more efficient. GE used data analytics to identify ways to reduce operating costs, increase aircraft utilization and improve the business of flight for AirAsia.

“The RNP-AR APCH flight paths can save up to 23 nautical miles at Kuching Airport and 18 nautical miles at Kota Bharu, compared to the standard terminal arrival,” said Giovanni Spitale, General Manager of GE Aviation’s Flight Efficiency Services. “Many of the new flight procedures, including Langkawi, now provide aircraft an instrument approach procedure with vertical guidance to runways that did not previously have any.” Once the flight paths are in place at the 15 airports, AirAsia expects to save up to RM1 million a year from reduced fuel costs.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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