Alaska Airlines saving fuel using NextGen procedures
30 June 2014
Alaska Airlines is using new flight procedures as a result of the agency's Greener Skies initiative, a regional rollout of the FAA's Next Generation Air Transportation System in Seattle, currently in its second phase.
The primary objective of the first phase of the programme, which began in 2010, was to develop and implement two Area Navigation (RNAV) arrivals and six Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approaches.
To date, implementing the two new RNAV arrival procedures has given 17 mile savings over previous landing procedures for aircraft arriving at the southern runway at SeaTac. Alaska Airlines' VP of flight operations, Gary Beck, estimates that this leads to a fuel saving of 44 gallons of fuel per flight, which leads to an annual saving of 1.3 million gallons of fuel for the 30,000 aircraft that fly the route annually.
The FAA will submit a 2014 mid-term report on overall NextGen progress to legislators on 1 July.