NEW YORK, June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) today became the first Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certified carrier in the United States to utilize the new satellite-based Special (Non-Public) Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR) approaches to Runways 13L and 13R at its home base at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport with its fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft. These unique Special Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) procedures are designed to utilize a constant vertical descent in conjunction with a precise curved flight path to the runways, resulting in the following efficiencies:
-- Stabilized approach path; -- Shorter flight times for customers; -- Reduced noise levels and greenhouse-gas emissions and, -- Increased fuel savings by as much as 120 pounds, or 18 gallons, per flight.
"These new procedures increase traffic flow predictability and efficiency in the notoriously unpredictable New York Metro air space, allowing us to get customers from point A to point B much more efficiently while reducing our environmental impact," said Captain Joe DeVito, manager flight standards compliance at JetBlue. "In addition, the time and money saved by flying shorter routes and reducing fuel consumption can be re-invested into further enhancing our product for customers and adding more flights to the places they want to go."
The RNP AR approach procedure will allow JetBlue to utilize a decision altitude while in a slight turn to the runway, the first airline in the United States to harness this special capability. This allows for lower landing weather minimums, increasing runway utilization at JFK. These procedures will be a key component in making JFK operate independent of the other NY-area airports and reduce delays at JFK, LaGuardia (LGA), Newark Liberty International (EWR) and Teterboro (TEB) airports in certain poor weather conditions.
"This continues a grand tradition of introducing aviation innovations at JFK, and we applaud JetBlue and the Federal Aviation Administration for the work they've done," said Port Authority Aviation Director Susan M. Baer. "We're excited to have another piece of the NextGen solution in place."
JetBlue began designing and testing the JFK special instrument procedures in 2004 in partnership with the FAA and MITRE Corporation. The airline's entire cadre of more than 2,300 pilots have been trained and certified at JetBlue's flight simulator training facility in Orlando to fly RNP AR procedures across the United States.
"The activation of the 13L RNP procedure at JFK is a success for NextGen and a catalyst for increased safety and reduced emissions across the National Airspace System," said Jeff Martin, JetBlue's senior vice president of operations. "We are proud to play such a vital role in this industry-leading initiative along with the FAA and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey."
In addition to these milestones, in 2008 JetBlue became the first and remains the only Airbus A320 operator in the country to receive FAA authorization for RNP AR approaches, followed by RNP AR certification for its entire fleet of Embraer E190 aircraft in 2010. JetBlue maintains all of its fleet types certified for RNP AR. The airline plans to extend the unique capability at JFK to its Embraer E190 fleet in the near future.
To further advance its active role in upgrading the nation's air traffic control system, in 2011 JetBlue also announced a partnership with the FAA to provide data and conduct real-time operational evaluations for the organization's Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) airspace modernization program. Through FAA-funding, the airline will equip up to 35 of its A320 planes with Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) Out avionics that will provide air traffic controllers with precise positioning of the aircraft using GPS satellite signals, enabling the aircraft to fly more direct routes off the East Coast. This capability, when combined with the new FAA En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) System, will begin field trials next summer. JetBlue is currently awaiting final aircraft certification.
About JetBlue Airways
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline(TM) with other focus cities in Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and Orlando. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) as well as super-spacious Even More Space seats. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 71 cities with 750 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information call +1 800-538-2583, TTY/TDD +1 800-336-5530, or visit www.jetblue.com.
SOURCE JetBlue Airways