Fri 6 June 2008 – The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has introduced new East Coast routes which will allow a reduction in lateral separation between aircraft over the ocean, thus enabling airliners to reach their destinations more quickly. The FAA calculates this will reduce aircraft carbon emissions by 3.9 million tons and save $400-700 million in fuel costs over a 15-year period.
Standardized aircraft navigation – Required Navigation Performance (RNP) 10 – will permit planes to fly closer together over the Atlantic from New York to the Caribbean, creating more routes and reducing delays along the busy corridor. Reducing the separation from 90 to 50 nautical miles will increase the number of available routes by about 40%.
These new routes give controllers the flexibility to offer more efficient flight altitudes and are in areas that include New York oceanic, Miami oceanic and the San Juan Center Approach Control airspace.
This has been made possible by the more sophisticated on-board navigation equipment fitted to modern aircraft. Airlines and aircraft that are authorized for RNP will be able to take advantage of the reduced separation standards and fly on any desired flight path within the coverage of ground or space-based navigational aids. The FAA says around 95% of the aircraft that fly through this airspace are now RNP-equipped.
The changes took effect from yesterday, June 5.
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