Horizon Air, Alaska Airlines´ sister carrier, has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to begin using its proprietary required navigation performance (RNP) instrument approach procedure at Friedman Memorial Airport near Sun Valley, the company said.
The company said the procedure is expected to reduce weather-related diversions by 95 percent. It is projected to reduce diversions for Horizon from an average of 40 to 50 per year down to one to two estimated diversions per year.
RNP technology allows aircraft to follow precise three-dimensional curved flight paths through difficult terrain using a combination of onboard navigation technology and the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network.
Horizon said this effort, which has been in development for more than 10 years, will allow it to deliver more reliable service. Tthe company expects to save up to USD600,000 a year by completing flights that would have would have otherwise been diverted or cancelled due to weather.
Alaska Airlines, together with its regional partners, flies 32 million customers a year to more than 110 cities with an average of 970 daily flights throughout the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and soon Cuba. Alaska Airlines is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).