JetBlue A320s use RNP approaches at New York JFK

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Published: June 20, 2012

JetBlue Airways A320. By Rob Finlayson

JetBlue Airways (B6) on Wednesday became the first US airline to use satellite-based Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR) approaches to runways 13L and 13R at New York JFK using Airbus A320s.

B6 said in statement, “These unique Special Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) procedures are designed to utilize a constant vertical descent in conjunction with a precise curved flight path to the runways, resulting in the following efficiencies: stabilized approach path; shorter flight times for customers; reduced noise levels and greenhouse-gas emissions; and increased fuel savings by as much as 120 lbs., or 18 gallons, per flight.”

The airline said its pilot workforce of 2,300 was trained and certified at its flight simulator training facility in Orlando for RNP procedures. 

“The activation of the 13L RNP procedure at JFK is a success for NextGen [ATC] and a catalyst for increased safety and reduced emissions,” B6 senior VP-operations Jeff Martin stated.

The carrier has been at the forefront of experimenting with new air navigation procedures. FAA is spending $ 4.2 million to equip up to 35 B6 A320s with ACSS’s SafeRoute ADS-B equipment, which will enable the LCC to operate “more precise, satellite-based flights from Boston and New York [JFK] to Florida and the Caribbean” (ATW Daily News, Feb. 4, 2011). That capability was initially supposed to be in place this year, but B6 said it is still awaiting final aircraft certification and plans “field trials” on the US East Coast routes next summer.

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