New SAA technology to cut travel time

25 April 2013

South African Airways (SAA) has become the first airline in Africa to receive approval for new departure and approach procedures which will improve safety and efficiency on SAA’s route network.

The airline received approval from the South African Civil Aviation Authority and is using the procedures, called Required Navigational Performance – Authorisation Required (RNP- AR), on all flights to and from Cape Town International Airport.

RNP-AR was the result of a partnership between SAA and a subsidiary of Airbus ProSky, Quovadis, and uses advanced on-board navigation technology and space-based GPS signals.

It is expected to increase scheduling integrity to improve on-time performance, increase revenue and reduce the environmental impact.

“Once the technology is rolled out onto SAA’s regional and international network, the long term benefit is not only a substantial saving in fuel costs but also a significant improvement in in flight safety, particularly when flying in areas with limited ground-based navigational infrastructure,” SAA head of flight operations and chief pilot, Johnny Woods, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The RNP-RA is also going to decrease travelling time by providing shorter flight paths. It has been calculated that this could save the airline over 600 000 kilograms of fuel a year.

“This milestone signifies South Africa’s readiness for a wider Performance Based Navigation deployment in line with recommendations set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation,” Woods said.

It also paves the way for further developments and technology to enhance safety and operational efficiency, the airline said.

SAinfo reporter