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Drukair Puts Safety First

20 September 2013

Hires Airbus ProSky to Implement Required Navigation Performance Operations 

Toulouse, France - 17 September 2013 - Drukair Royal Bhutan Airlines, the national airline of the Kingdom of Bhutan, has signed a contract with Airbus ProSky to improve the overall safety and efficiency of its operations through Performance-Based Navigation (PBN). With the assistance of Airbus ProSky, Drukair will utilise Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR) procedures throughout its network, starting with Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). These navigation techniques will allow aircraft to fly precisely along predefined routes using on-board navigation systems and the GPS-based global navigation satellite system, thereby resulting in higher efficiency and enhanced safety. 

In 2011, Airbus supported the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) with the implementation of RNP AR procedures to improve operational safety at TIA, known for its challenging terrain and steep conventional Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Range (VOR) approach. The additional track flexibility provided by RNP AR now allows approved aircraft to fly around terrain that was previously overflown when using conventional methods-this means a smooth descent and fully stabilised approach. An additional benefit is greater operations reliability in adverse weather conditions. 

"Drukair has extensive experience flying conventional procedures in challenging terrain like Paro and TIA," said Mr. Tandin Jamso, Drukair CEO. "Safety is our top priority and we are going to take full advantage of the most sophisticated technologies to improve operational safety and flight punctuality. Airbus ProSky's expertise in PBN design and regulation will facilitate a smooth transition from VOR to RNP AR operations using the industry's best practices." 

Airbus ProSky will also assist Drukair with the design of Engine-Out Standard Instrument Departures (EOSID). EOSIDs are navigation procedures designed to ensure obstacle clearance at the most critical point during takeoff. This will be developed for both TIA runways and will optimise Drukair flights' payload while also providing fully managed and fixed trajectories, in all conditions. 

According to Captain Sangay Wangchuk, Drukair General Manager Flight Operation and Crew Training, "By choosing Airbus ProSky to support our RNP AR project, assist with authority approval and set up a comprehensive training program, we are extremely confident that Drukair will meet the regulatory requirements and achieve unprecedented benefits including enhanced safety and seamless operations." 

"Drukair firmly believes in giving their passengers the best flying experience possible. By implementing RNP AR operations, they are putting safety first. We are privileged to work with Drukair and make this project a success not only for the airline, but also for the passengers," said Paul-Franck Bijou, CEO, Airbus ProSky. 

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