New aircraft navigating technology being studied for use at Penticton Regional Airport | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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New aircraft navigating technology being studied for use at Penticton Regional Airport

Transport Canada expects the $6.4 million Penticton Regional Airport reconfiguration to be completed in early 2020.
November 09, 2018 - 3:34 PM

PENTICTON - With the onset of winter weather conditions in Penticton, snowy weather and the accompanying poor visibility can wreak havoc on scheduled commercial air traffic in and out of Penticton Regional Airport.

Last winter was particularly brutal with several days of cancelled or delayed flights.

A new aircraft navigational procedure known as Required Navigation Performance could prove to be beneficial to commercial aircraft using the Penticton airport, as the procedure could allow aircraft to operate in lower ceilings and poorer visibility conditions than is now presently allowed.

Along with a $6.4 million terminal reconfiguration currently being undertaken by Transport Canada, Nav Canada is working on a new method to improve the safety of terminal and approach operations through the Required Navigation Performance - Authorization Required project.

Transport Canada senior communications advisor Sau Sau Liu says the project also aims to improve operational efficiency by reducing track miles flown, reduce infrastructure costs, increase airspace capacity and reduce environmental impact through reduced emissions and the potential to reduce exposure to noise.

Nav Canada spokesperson Jonathan Bagg says the project is still in the feasibility stage, with no specific date at this time for completion.

Bagg says Nav Canada is working to understand how Required Navigation Performance could be used for aircraft approaching and departing Penticton Regional Airport, but notes there are "terrain challenges” in the airport’s runway flight paths.

Bagg says RNP is being studied for use at airports across the country, and the corporation is interested in using the technology in Penticton.

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