Guest Steve Fulton is a Technical Fellow with GE Aviation. He was the pilot at Alaska Airlines who helped develop the world’s first RNP procedure (that’s Required Navigation Performance), and he was a co-founder of Naverus, now part of GE. RNP enables aircraft to be placed on efficient predefined paths from top of descent to the runway.
We discuss RNP, the FAA reauthorization, and what the U.S. Congress has mandated. We talk about bringing what was developed in simpler situations to more complex ones here in the U.S., and mention “The Highways in the Sky” study where GE identifies significant benefits at airports that are not at the top of the FAA priority list. Steve points out that besides techincal challanges, this technology requires attention to the human element because it represents such a large change for pilots and air traffic controllers. Controllers, for example, have great vectoring skills that work well for loading the runways, but not very efficiently. RNP brings efficiency, but the task is more about managing automation. Steve also talks about translating the benefits of RNP to general aviation and unmanned aviation as well.
The week’s aviation news:
- Stretched potential for Boeing 777
- Multiple Carriers File for New Beyond-Perimeter DCA Slots
- Boeing finishes tests for GE-engine 787
- [Analysis:] Delta-Boeing clash threatens Obama bid to renew Eximbank
- Two Venice couples and child killed in N.C. plane crash
In this week’s Australia Desk report: Virgin Australia restructure goes ahead despite Qantas trying to block it, damaged Qantas A380 V-OQA repaired and returning to Aus next month, AirNZ ATR 72s grounded due to wing cracks, and Air Asia X pulling out of Christchurch route.
In his Across The Pond segment, Pieter Johnson talks with AeroBlogger Rohit Rao about the situation for airlines in India. Rohit gives his views on Kingfisher and their well publicised troubles as well as looking at Indigo. It’s a fascinating insight into Indian aviation.
Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.