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System improves US airline's flight performance

By John Dean - 18 Jan 2011 15:29:2 GMT
System improves US airline's flight performance

American company GE Aviation has announced that it has struck a deal with Southwest Airlines for use of a flight management system which reduces the environmental impact of aircraft.

GE Aviation's system TrueCourse, which provides technology for Southwest Airlines' pilots at 11 airports, is standard on Boeing 737 aircraft and allows planes to meet Required Navigation Performance (RNP). RNP is a satellite-based navigation system that brings together the accuracy of GPS (Global Positioning System), advanced avionics, and new flight procedures.

The TrueCourse flight management system controls the aircraft's track to an accuracy of 10 metres (33 feet) and the time of arrival to within ten seconds to any point in the flight plan. Benefits include the ability to fly shorter flight paths and improve descents to reduce fuel consumption.

Chris Beaufait, president of Avionics for GE Aviation Systems, said: “TrueCourse enables operators to fly the most efficient RNP operations available. Southwest is well equipped and is positioning to lead the way in the expansive use of these approved routes, realising fuel, emission and noise reductions."

Southwest Airlines' pilots and dispatchers follow the new flight procedures at Amarillo, Birmingham, Boise, Corpus Christi, Los Angeles, Chicago Midway, Oakland, Oklahoma City, West Palm Beach, Raleigh-Durham, and San Jose airports.