Saigon airport adopts new navigation method to address air traffic congestion

By VnExpress   November 10, 2016 | 01:26 am PT
Saigon airport adopts new navigation method to address air traffic congestion
Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/ACV
The new system will help ease overcrowding and reduce pollution at Tan Son Nhat.

Vietnam aviation authorities officially put into operation a new method of navigation designated as SID/STAR RNAV 1 at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday.

This method enables aircraft to fly on any desired flight course within the coverage station-referenced navigation signal, a huge improvement over conventional methods which are dependent on ground navigation.

RNAV 1 requires little radar navigation aid, therefore decreases navigated distance and eases the amount of communication and workload on air traffic controllers and pilots. Air traffic controllers can also maintain a safer and more accurate standard deviation thanks to restriction on one-point air traffic flows.

Compared to conventional methods, RNAV 1 is 10 to 15 percent more efficient, and also reduces fuel consumption and pollution.

The adoption of RNAV 1 comes at a time when Tan Son Nhat Airport is dealing with severe air traffic congestion with a daily average of 600 flight departures and arrivals. Previously, authorities had to restrict the number of flights during peak hours as a temporary solution.

RNAV 1 will be adopted at airports in Hanoi and Da Nang in early and late 2017 respectively, before being implemented across the country by 2020.

Tan Son Nhat is already overburdened by the flights and passengers. It received more than 26.5 million passengers last year, exceeding its capacity of 23 million, and the number is expected to increase to around 31 million this year.

The rapid growth of the local aviation market in recent years has overwhelmed airports in major cities and led to regular flight delays and cancellations.

Figures from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam showed that more than 20,000 flights, or 15.8 percent, were delayed in the first six months this year. That was up slightly from 15 percent a year ago.

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