Brazil’s aviation authority (ANAC) approved the country’s first Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approaches at Santos Dumont Airport (SBRJ) in Rio de Janeiro on May 7. The validation flight on May 5 was conducted in a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 that also delivered overall RNP operational approval to Gol.
The RNP procedures are expected to improve access, through reduced landing minima, and capacity at Santos Dumont Airport, while reducing fuel burn and carbon emissions for Gol and other approved airlines that use them. Brazil’s air navigation service provider, DECEA, designed the RNP procedures with technical support and assistance from GE.
Matt Vacanti, GE director of RNP programs, told AIN, “The interim RNP authorization was issued as the result of two previous technology demonstration flights, more than 20 hours of full-motion simulator testing and evaluation and the completion of the operational application package review. For the immediate future, Gol will be conducting the approaches under a high weather minima program.”
The Santos Dumont area is a challenging flight environment because operators must navigate mountainous areas and complex airspace when both arriving and departing the noise-sensitive airport. DECEA designed the RNP procedures with a continuous decent arrival (CDA) to reduce noise, lower operating minima and improve capacity, as well as to eliminate the need for non-precision approaches and the associated risk of controlled flight into terrain (CFIT).