New RNAV Approaches Improve Access, Reduce Noise at Boeing Field

Post by Alyce Shingler on November 22, 2023

Aug. 31, 2023

Four new RNAV instrument approach procedures were recently published for Washington state’s Boeing Field/King County International Airport (BFI), including the RNAV(GPS) Y 14R, RNAV (GPS) Y 32L, RNAV (RNP) Z 14R and RNAV (RNP) Z 32L.

These approaches were the result of the airport and airport users collaborating with Hughes Aerospace and lead to improved access, especially when the ILS is out of service, and reduce neighborhood overflight noise.

The new RNAV Y RWY 32L approach closely follows the existing ILS RWY 32L approach path. Instead of flying the long final segment of the ILS RWY 14R, the RNAV Y RWY 14 R uses a series of intermediate legs that routes traffic to a shorter extended final approach over Elliott Bay instead of noise sensitive neighborhoods.

The RNAV RWY Y 14R can also reduce the number of potential conflicts and coordination required if BFI is employing both approaches to Runway 14 Right.

Another benefit of the new procedures is they offer alternative approaches with approved vertical guidance, which helps ATC to manage wake-turbulence spacing and other separation requirements with the mix of traffic at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and the satellite airports while offering approaches with precision-like minimums when the ILS is out of service.

The procedures have the same flight tracks as the GPSs and might be of interest to business operators with RNP capabilities.

Pilots must request the new approaches, and ATC will do its best to accommodate those requests. And if the ILS is out of service, the new RNAV procedures could be a good standard operating procedure.