Universal Helps Horizon Land Lower

 - August 4, 2013, 4:30 AM

Horizon Air has received FAA approval to fly instrument approaches to required navigation performance (RNP) 0.1 standards in its Bombardier Q400s equipped with Universal Avionics UNS-1Ew flight management systems. The UNS-1Ew Waas/SBAS FMS enables Horizon pilots to fly stable 3-D flight paths to touchdown at airports in the Northwest U.S. that have published RNP approaches, but now to lower RNP 0.1 minimums. Compared to traditional but non-RNP approaches, the RNP approaches have been shown to save time and fuel. Horizon’s flight operational quality assurance (Foqa) program has recorded zero unstable approaches of the several thousand flown since the airline began flying RNP 0.3 about a year ago. RNP 0.1 offers significantly lower minimums. For example, at Horizon destination Spokane, Wash., pilots can fly to RNP 0.1 minimums on Runway 21, to 187 feet agl and 2,400 feet RVR. The RNP 0.30 minimums for that approach are 343 feet and 4,500 feet RVR. RNP approaches are now available at several Northwest airports that used to offer only circling approaches.