Business aviation takes advantage of RNP

PHOENIX, 26 Jan. 2011. Required navigation performance (RNP) SAAAR (special aircraft and aircrew authorization required) holds a strong attraction for the business aviation industry. The prospect of getting chief executive officers (CEOs) to their destinations with greater certainty is compelling.

By Charlotte Adams
PHOENIX, 26 Jan. 2011.Required navigation performance (RNP) SAAAR (special aircraft and aircrew authorization required) holds a strong attraction for the business aviation industry. The prospect of getting chief executive officers (CEOs) to their destinations with greater certainty is compelling.
Yet FAA operational approvals can be somewhat complex. "There’s a lot of tribal knowledge about how to get approved and what to show," says Chad Cundiff, Honeywell's vice president of crew interface products in Phoenix.
This combination of benefits and challenges inspired Honeywell in 2007 to start Go Direct, an FAA-approved RNP consulting service, which has helped operators with Honeywell avionics to get through the agency's RNP SAAAR process.
Go Direct provides everything from educational insights to turnkey service. In between, the company can offer a "pretty straightforward set of templates" to help departments get approved, Cundiff says. It depends on a company's budget and time constraints. Honeywell has partnered with Flight Safety International for training Gulfstream pilots.
The vast majority of U.S. RNP procedures are now designed by the FAA, Cundiff says. Private SAAAR procedures raise questions about who has the rights to fly them, who pays for them, and who maintains them. You typically see "specials" at places without a lot of traffic, he says.
The biggest attraction of RNP to corporate customers is improved access to destinations, but pilots also like the reduced workload, Cundiff says. Besides being safer and more economical, RNP approaches are also more comfortable for the CEO or other execs in the back of the airplane, he adds.

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