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On Nov. 28, Air Canada Flight 855 from Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Toronto Pearson (YYZ) became one of the first to use Nav Canada’s new landing procedure in Toronto, which will allow aircraft to shorten their flight paths and flying times — thus reducing fuel burn and decreasing emissions.
Thanks to Required Navigation Performance – Authorization Required (RNP-AR) approach procedures — as well as a new separation standard called Established on RNP-AR (EoR), introduced by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) — aircraft are now able to arrive simultaneously on parallel runways at YYZ on more direct (and efficient) routes.
Previously, aircraft that landed on parallel runways at the same time were separated by three nautical miles laterally or 1,000 feet vertically until they were lined up with the runway and established on final. This resulted in some aircraft needing to fly at a low altitude or a longer trajectory to maintain separation.
“The EoR separation standard allows aircraft to be considered established on final as soon as they’re on the RNP-AR procedure, which is now in use for both ends of Toronto Pearson’s north runway (05-23),” Nav Canada explained in a press release. “As a result, some aircraft approaching from the south will have the opportunity to fly up to 1,000 feet higher when aircraft to the north are established on an RNP-AR procedure.”
While there are cost and environmental benefits to this procedure, it also allows aircraft to reduce their noise over communities located south and downwind of the airport.
The advancement at Toronto Pearson is officially the largest deployment of the ICAO EoR standard at a major international airport, according to Nav Canada.
“Collaboration and innovation are at the heart of this project,” said Marie-Pier Berman, VP and chief of operations at Nav Canada. “Bringing this change to life took a great deal of teamwork and strong partnerships across our industry. Insights from our air traffic controllers, combined with pilots and airlines, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), ICAO, the National Airlines Council of Canada, Transport Canada, local residents, and technical experts helped us chart a path to this significant milestone.”
GTAA director of aviation safety, regulations and performance, Michael Belanger, noted that the industry collaboration and stakeholder engagement that took place with this project helped “enable environmental sustainability goals and responsible growth.”
According to Nav Canada, RNP-AR at Toronto Pearson is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 178 million kilograms over the next decade. The implementation of the new technology will contribute to ICAO’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
While the “Established on RNP-AR” ICAO standard is new to Toronto, it is not new to Canada. The procedure was first introduced at Calgary International Airport (YYC) in 2018. There are now multiple airlines in Canada, including WestJet and Air Canada, that support Nav Canada’s modernization efforts. WestJet’s entire fleet and the majority of Air Canada’s fleet are currently equipped for RNP-AR.
“Managing one of the largest regions of airspace in the world, collaborative projects like RNP-AR are one of many initiatives designed to guide Nav Canada into the future, transform how the company delivers its service over the long term, and provide value for customers,” the air navigation service provider said. “RNP-AR offers measurable benefits that help to reduce the impact of our services and those of our customers on the environment.”