RNP Approach, Gets Skiers to the Slopes

By March 16, 2017Featured

In an article by: Amy Trevisan, FAA AJM-32/NAVTAC
From: FAA Navigation Programs AJM-32 http://gps.faa.gov

Less than 2 months after receiving approval from the FAA to begin using its proprietary Required Navigation Performance (RNP) instrument approach procedure at Friedman Airport near Sun Valley, Idaho, Horizon Air (a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines) was able to give its passengers what they wanted – an arrival just in time to get in a few runs on the slopes. This was achieved despite the snowy weather conditions. Geared up for ski season, Horizon Air is able to employ its RNP technology at 2 airports, Friedman Memorial at Sun Valley, Idaho and Mammoth Lakes, California. RNP enables certified aircraft and specially trained pilots to follow precise three dimensional curved flight paths through difficult terrain using a combination of onboard navigation technology, Global Positioning System (GPS), and in Horizon Air’s case, the GPS Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) navigation sensors. This system allows aircraft to fly more reliable approaches to lower weather minima and safe landings. It also eliminates the reliance on ground-based navigation aids.

“Just in time for the ski season and holiday travel, the expected improvement in reliability this brings to our airport during inclement weather will greatly benefit our customers traveling to the area as well as local residents,” said Chris Pomeroy, airport manager at Friedman Memorial Airport.

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