FAA, Port of Portland, airlines, and locals design NextGen RNAV approach procedures at PDX

PORTLAND, Ore., 13 Dec. 2012. Portland International Airport (PDX) will start using new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) technologies and procedures, including Area Navigation (RNAV) approach procedures, in 2013.

The NextGen program is intended to create a modern, satellite-based air traffic control (ATC) system to help make the national airspace system (NAS) safer and more efficient and to facilitate economic growth.  

RNAV, at the heart of which lies NextGen GPS satellite-based navigation technology, enables aircraft to fly safely on virtually any desired flight path within the coverage of ground-based or space-based navigation aids. With these new procedures, aircraft approaching Portland can power back sooner, thereby saving fuel, making less noise, and emitting fewer pollutants.

“These procedures will continue to enhance operational safety and efficiency at this important airport while improving air quality around Portland,” adds FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta.

RNAV procedures also increase the efficiency of the air traffic control (ATC) system, whereas aircraft using RNAV can fly more precise and predictable routes, resulting in a more efficient use of airspace and fewer pilot-controller communications.

 “These new procedures in Portland are the building blocks of NextGen,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “NextGen initiatives underway in major regions across the country are helping deliver more on-time flights for consumers, reducing fuel consumption for airlines, and creating an even safer aviation system.”

The FAA, the Port of Portland, airlines, and local citizen groups designed six new RNAV approach procedures. The PDX Citizens Noise Advisory Committee also took part in the design phase of the new RNAV approaches in support of the PDX Fly Quiet Program.

Pilots of aircraft equipped with RNAV can begin flying these new arrival routes in 2013.  

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