The SESAR JU RISE project continues to prove the benefits of performance-based navigation (PBN) in Cyprus over the past two months. Since February, more than 30 flight trials have been conducted in Larnaca, with 20 additional trials in Paphos.

The RISE Project seeks to improve airport accessibility, enhance safety and reduce environmental impact at airports throughout Europe and is co-financed by SESAR Joint Undertaking and its partners.

Mr Nicos Nicolaou, Acting Director of DCAC stated, "We’re pleased to see the new procedures from design to implementation. We believe the decrease in track miles will result in considerable reductions in fuel burn and CO2 emissions. The benefits of PBN go beyond improving our airspace, but also enhance the environment in which we live."

In Cyprus, SESAR JU has been working with Airbus ProSky, part of ‘Services by Airbus’, and airline partners Novair, easyJet, Emirates and Aegean to design and implement PBN procedures. DCAC, the air navigation service provider (ANSP) of Cyprus, has designed RNP1 to ILS and RNAV visual procedures for both airports.

In particular, the RNAV procedures facilitate more stable approaches, fewer go-arounds and fewer diversions, which increase airline schedule reliability. It also results in greater airport ground operations efficiency and a reduced workload for air traffic controllers.

In Larnaca, the most utilised procedure was thoroughly tested by the operators coming from the west (ADLAS entry waypoint), and using the RNAV VISUAL procedure is 12 nautical miles shorter than the existing conventional VOR procedure.

If replaced entirely, it will save approximately 500 miles per day. In addition, other procedures for arrivals coming from the East have been flight tested (RNP TO ILS from SOBOS and BOSIS entry waypoints) with very positive reports.

At Paphos airport, the western arrivals are using the RNP TO ILS from TOBAL and the RNAV visual from TOBAL offers great savings, as well as a smoother approach.

Before the demonstration flights, Airbus ProSky had validated the designed procedures on a full flight simulator. The DCAC trained the air traffic controllers on the new procedures and published them in an AIP supplement to support the RISE flight trials.

Airbus ProSky general manager Thomas Lagaillarde added, "The RISE project continues to see success. The potential sustainability benefits of PBN are showcased in Cyprus. When we are able to see substantial reductions in track miles, we know the new procedures will be seen as useful to all stakeholders."

The procedures will be published in AIP at the end of the trials. The Cyprus flight trials are a portion of the more than 160 flight trials will be conducted in collaboration with the partner airlines and ANSPs through September 2016 in Airbus ProSky France, Greece, Cyprus and Portugal.

These trials will capture feedback from flight crew and air traffic controllers on the procedures in terms of fly-ability, safety, crew and ATC workload, as well as assess savings in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption reduction.