GE Co-Pilots Brazil’s Mission for Clear Skies
With around 200 million people currently residing in Brazil, it’s no surprise that the airports are crowded. Not only are many of Brazil’s cities popular tourist destinations, but with the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic games being held there as well, the airports are going to be overflowing with people. Before this issue becomes an even bigger problem, one thing is for certain – something needs to be done.
The number of passengers flying in Brazil has doubled since 2007 and that number is still on the rise. Within the next ten years, there’s expected to be a six percent increase in people using aerial transportation in the country. Already airports in some of Brazil’s larger cities, such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, are close to reaching maximum capacity.
But General Electric has flown to the rescue and has given the country some assistance. For the past two years, some of Brazil’s larger airlines, like GOL, and even the nation’s navigation service provider, DECEA, have been working hand-in-hand with GE to find a solution. They’ve found that big data is the key.
Brazil has started using GE’s Required Navigation Performance system (RNP) at ten key airports in southeast Brazil. This system relies on GPS signals instead of the usual ground-based beacons. By using big data to check flight routes, weather, and plane and airport system data, pilots can find the best route to fly, thus maximizing flight economics.
GOL has estimated that with GE’s RNP system, the Brasilia airport alone could save 22 miles and 7.5 minutes per landing approach compared to the norm. They’ve also found that carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by more than 1,620 pounds, bringing in $24 million in operational savings over five years.
“Once the RNP paths are deployed, GE Aviation’s Flight Analytics platform will analyze actual flight and operational data to support optimization, validate the cost savings, and identify additional areas for improvements,” said Giovanni Spitale, general manager of GE Aviation’s Flight Efficiency Services. “This may include optimizing the paths for additional fuel and track mile savings, vertical profile reduction, capacity gains, runway throughput or environmental improvements.”