‘Gift’ Jump Starts Philippines’ RNP Procedures

Post by Alyce Shingler on August 12, 2016, updated on January 24, 2020

Aviation Daily August 2, 2016  p.4

John Croft

Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON—A slate of donated required navigation performance (RNP) procedures for Tacloban City Airport (Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport) in the Philippines may set the stage for further improvements in the island nation’s ground-based aerial infrastructure.

The satellite-based procedures—one GPS approach, one required navigation performance (RNP) arrival and one RNP departure—were donated by Honeywell and partner company Hughes Aerospace, a provider of performance-based navigation procedures worldwide, in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013. The storm knocked out the airport’s main terminal and its primary instrument approach aid, a very high frequency omnidirectional range (VOR) station. The RNP procedures are the first to be published in the Philippines.

The new GPS approach to Runway 36 offers a minimum descent altitude as low as 320 ft. compared to 745 ft. for the VOR approach. Aside from the lower minimum altitude, the satellite-based procedure also features fewer track miles and vertical descent guidance through the aircraft’s flight management system.

The RNP arrival procedure connects the non-radar en route environment to the Runway 36 approach, providing for a seamless, continuous descent to the runway. The design, featuring multiple transition points along the circumference of a virtual circle around the airport, is specifically tailored to the local weather.

“The type of design lends itself well to an area with convective activity,” Chris Baur, president and CEO of Hughes Aerospace, said. “If you had weather that was shutting down one quadrant (of the circle), you can slide along the ring to pick up another transition to get to the airport.” Similarly, the RNP departure procedure seamlessly connects the airport to the en route environment for departures.

The new procedures were originally developed to be in place in advance of a papal visit in January 2015, however final approval by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) did not occur until May 2016, with the three procedures going live in late June. Most likely users will include Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, all of which must receive approval from the CAAP.

A Honeywell official based in the Philippines said in addition to a building an RNP approach to Runway 18 at Tacloban, the CAAC will also likely target “four or five” other airports that currently cannot receive airline traffic at night due to a lack of approaches and runway lights.