Cape Town International implements fuel saving navigation procedures


Cape Town International Airport has become the first in Africa to implement new navigation procedures that cut aircraft fuel burn and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has approved new Required Navigation Performance with Authorisation Required (RNP AR) procedures at Cape Town International Airport for South African Airways (SAA).

RNP is a type of performance-based navigation that lets aircraft fly the straightest line to a destination, resulting in reduced fuel burn and better management of airspace. RNP procedures will save around 20 nautical miles on arrivals and ten nautical miles on departures at Cape Town.

The procedures have been designed in co-operation between SAA and Quovadis, an Airbus ProSky company, along with the SACAA and Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS).

The flight tracks used by these new procedures are derived from already in-use visual tracks in and out of Cape Town and the RNP AR procedures provide a means to fly the shorter tracks even in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), i.e. bad weather.

Quovadis has assisted SAA, the SACAA and ATNS throughout the RNP AR approval process, paving the way for further developments of RNP AR procedures in Africa in the interests of enhanced safety and increased efficiency.

Captain Johnny Woods, SAA director of flight operations, said: “We have all worked hard to reach this milestone. Now South Africa is ready for wider performance based navigation deployment in line with ICAO recommendations. We have had good support from Quovadis and achieved all our objectives. We look forward to future implementations and procedure design.”

Don-Jacques Ould-Ferhat, Quovadis chief operating officer, said: “We are proud to be part of this project. Our collaboration has produced safe and fuel-efficient flight procedures for SAA at Cape Town International. We look forward to a long-term partnership with South Africa’s highly-qualified teams.”