China’s Zhangjiajie Airport Wins RNP Approval

 - April 29, 2013, 2:38 PM

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has approved both an RNP approach to an ILS and an RNP AR (authorization required) approach for Zhangjiajie Airport (ZDGY) in southeastern China to help increase its capacity. Surrounded by rugged mountainous terrain, the airport sits in the middle of what the country’s Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (Canso) calls “complex airspace that limits operations at peak hours for both inbound and outbound traffic.”

The RNP to ILS approach provides precise guidance in poor weather while the RNP AR provides a shorter, although precisely guided, track in less harsh weather that Canso believes will save each arrival as much as 12 nm of flying to one end of the airport’s 8,500-foot runway and 9 nm of flying to the opposite end.

The RNP AR approach also optimizes a 2.8-degree glideslope for arrivals, allowing for a lower climb gradient in the event of a missed approach. The airport also has added a complete RNP AR engine-out departure procedure to protect departures from high terrain in the event of a single-engine missed approach.

The CAAC worked with Airbus ProSky’s Quovadis division to develop the procedures.