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Volume 14,Issue 3 Autumn 2012

First A319 RNP flight to Tibet held


On August 23, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the CAAC Southwest Regional Administration, and Air China Southwest Branch completed the first RNP verification flight of an A319 aircraft at Lhasa Gonggar Airport. The aircraft belonged to Air China. This is the first time an Airbus 319 has flown to a plateau airport using RNP since it was approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its RNP capability in the world. The successful RNP test flight has advanced the cooperation project between the CAAC, Southwest Regional Administration, Air China Southwest Branch, and Airbus. RNP, or Required Navigation Performance, represents the most modern aircraft navigation technique that could reduce the effect of bad weather on flights. It utilizes GPS and avionics to ensure that an aircraft stays on precise, pre-programmed paths without referring to the navigation facilities on the ground. This should greatly improve flight safety and on-time performance, especially for airports with complicated terrain conditions or insufficient infrastructure.

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