DALLAS, March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) applauds the milestone of 30,000 RNP approaches flown into Denver International Airport (DEN). Southwest®, a nationally recognized advocate in RNP implementation, is working alongside the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), airport administrators, and industry stakeholders to develop and implement fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly RNP procedures for wide scale usage at airports across the nation.
RNP procedures are high-performance, GPS-based, continuous-descent approaches that enhance safety, provide greater fuel efficiency, and reduce track miles with lower carbon emission and noise generation, compared to conventional procedures. RNP approaches can reduce flying by 3-5 miles during visual approaches and by up to 20 miles during instrument approaches at DEN. These flights follow highly predictable paths to allow descents at idle power from high altitude cruise, producing the quietest and most fuel-efficient arrival.
"Southwest remains committed in supporting the FAA's efforts to develop RNP procedures, which benefit the industry as a whole, as well as the communities we serve," said Alan Kasher, Vice President Flight Operations at Southwest Airlines. "The success of this program could not have been possible without coordinated support and the leadership of Denver Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center, and Denver International Airport."
This remarkable milestone makes Denver the most prolific promoter of RNP in the national airspace system. Denver stands out among 152 runways at 46 airports where Southwest Airlines has collaborated with the industry and the FAA, and progress at DEN represents a good case study of how the FAA, airlines, and local stakeholders can work together to move Next Generation Airspace (NextGen) forward. In the past ten years in DEN, Southwest has grown from 13 flights a day serving three cities nonstop to 186 flights a day to 57 cities nonstop and now carries more local passengers to/from Colorado than any other airline.
"When Denver International Airport opened in 1995, it was the first airport to achieve a triple-simultaneous landing in bad weather, representing the height of airport design and technology at the time," said airport CEO Kim Day. "Today, we once again find ourselves helping to transform the national airspace through innovative new technology that is catching up to the capabilities DEN was designed for. These new arrival procedures truly represent the leading edge of aviation technology, and Denver is positioned to be a model for airports around the country and the world."
"Cooperation between carriers and the FAA is vital for the success of NextGen across the system," Kasher said. "Southwest looks forward to continued partnerships with the FAA, its industry partners, and airport administrators as we work together toward a modernized air traffic control system."
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. In its 45th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 49,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest proudly operates a network of 97 destinations across the United States and seven additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season.
Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity. That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest created Transfarency℠, a philosophy which treats Customers honestly and fairly, and in which low fares actually stay low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some airlines may allow free checked bags on select routes or for qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. In 2014, the airline proudly unveiled a bold new look: Heart. The new aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo, showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what's important in their lives.
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SOURCE Southwest Airlines Co.