Qatar Airways has achieved an aviation industry milestone by becoming the first airline in the world to operate an aircraft with a new navigational approach into Nepal utilising the latest aircraft technology.
The Doha-based airline implemented a Required Navigation Performance – Authorisation Required (RNP AR) approach into the Nepalese capital’s Tribhuvan International Airport.
Locked in the Himalayan mountain range, Kathmandu has one of the world’s most complicated approaches due to the surrounding challenging terrain.
Flying an RNP AR approach into Tribhuvan International Airport reduces pilots’ workload considerably and allows them to take full benefit of the advanced navigation equipment installed in aircraft to easily circumnavigate difficult terrain.
With a smooth descent and fully stabilised approach, it leads to significant safety improvements and reduces the required visibility compared with current standard flying procedures.
The RNP AR procedure allows aircraft to automatically fly accurate trajectories without relying on ground-based navigation aids, optimises airspace utilisation and reduces diversions in difficult weather conditions.
Doha-based Qatar Airways continues to invest in enhancing safety of its flights through the installation of the latest aircraft equipment which assist pilots to make approaches into, and departures from, airports categorised as very difficult with higher precision and accuracy.
Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said safety was the number one priority for the airline.
“We pride ourselves on adopting the latest technology across our fleet and operation to ensure we maintain our high standards, vital for any business of our nature,” he said.
“The airline takes all necessary steps possible to enhance safety measures throughout our operation without hesitation, whether in the air or on the ground.
“The new safety procedures adopted on our aircraft significantly enhance navigation procedures and make it an overall improved flying experience for our crew.”
Working closely with key industry associates, Qatar Airways has partnered with the French procedures designer QUOVADIS, an Airbus owned company, and the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to design and implement the Kathmandu RNP AR procedure.