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calculate an aircraft’s best descent path A total of eight Air Europa flights were
into LAX based on the aircraft’s perfor- flown with optimized trajectories from
mance abilities, weight, aircraft speed, and Madrid to the Caribbean through oceanic
winds. airspace controlled by Santa Maria, Por-
Other airports have limited OPD pro- tugal, and the New York Air Route Traf-
cedures in which aircraft can glide for fic Control Center. Flight dispatch at Air
portions of the approach before powering Europa recalculated trajectories in light of
up for the final landing. So far, LAX is each flight’s current environment, winds,
the only U.S. airport that has been able to and the company’s cost index.
accommodate a fully-optimized OPD in AIRE demonstrations are ongoing in
which aircraft can glide all the way into 2009, and the plan is to include more
the airport from miles away. Two addi- flights, using a greater number of cities,
tional procedures were implemented at and introduce eastbound trans-Atlantic
LAX in September 2008. flights. Oceanic trajectories eventually
will bring together all stages of flight.
International Advances
In May 2008, the Atlantic Interoper-
Looking To The Future
ability Initiative to Reduce Emissions Performance-Based Navigation is a
(AIRE) partnership, including the FAA, cornerstone of the FAA’s NextGen vision.
Nav Portugal, Air Europa, and European As RNAV and RNP procedures are im-
Commission, conducted demonstrations plemented in the NAS, they may provide
to help reduce aviation’s carbon footprint additional end-to-end benefits by enabling
and reduce fuel consumption by manually a network of procedures at and between
actual performance of the aircraft under optimizing flight trajectories across the busy airports that will continue to enhance
current flight conditions. Atlantic. safety and capacity for industry and the
Benefits of these TBO initiatives, such
as OPD, include fuel savings and noise
and emissions reduction by keeping air-
craft at higher altitude and at lower thrust
levels than traditional step-down ap-
proaches. Simplifying routes using OPD
also reduces radio transmissions between
pilots and controllers.
OPD In Action
Two vertically-optimized arrival pro-
cedures were designed and successfully
instituted at Los Angeles International
Airport as part of the Southern California
Redesign. Since 2004, OPD procedures
have been evaluated extensively by
United Parcel Service (UPS) at Louisville-
Standiford International Airport, are be-
ing tested at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
International Airport, and were demon-
strated at Miami International Airport in
May 2008.
Los Angeles International Airport
The new routes into LAX allow aircraft
to glide down to the runway, using mini-
mal power, starting approximately 70
miles east of the airport.
No special equipment is required to fly
the new approach. On-board computers • Heli-Expo 2010 Preview Issue 19
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