The Civil Aviation Authority of Macao SAR (AACM) has published new approach procedures and approved Air Macau to adopt the new procedures for their aircraft landings. Commencing today, with AACM’s authorization to adopt the procedures, air operators can benefit from the reduced number of go-arounds and flight diversions resulting from unfavourable weather conditions when performing landings (from North to South) at Runway 16. The new procedures greatly enhance the operational safety and efficiency of the aircraft when landing at Runway 16.
AACM, the airport concessionaire (CAM) and Air Macau Company Limited set up a task force in 2017 to study on the implementation of the Required Navigation Performance - Authorization Required or RNP-AR APCH, a standard which has been adopted and named by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), in order to optimize the operations of the aircraft when landing at Runway 16 of the Macau airport. To achieve the task, CAM and Air Macau hired an international consulting firm to design the RNP-AR APCH, the flight crew training programme and the flight operations manual. In 2018, CAM and Air Macau formally applied to AACM to adopt the new procedures; Air Macau also provided their flight crew with the necessary training. AACM conducted comprehensive document review and assessed a number of flight validations and eventually published the RNP-AR APCH earlier this year, the latest edition of which has become effective on 23 May 2019.
On 13 June 2019, AACM granted the interim approval to Air Macau to adopt the new procedures. AACM will eventually grant the formal approval to Air Macau if the latter can demonstrate proficiency in implementing the procedures for their aircraft landings at Runway 16 in the coming months. Air Macau is the first airline to be approved by the Authority in the first phase of the RNP-AR APCH.
Since the Macau International Airport was inaugurated, the aircraft could not fly over the neighbouring area in low altitude due to the noise restrictions. The approach procedures for both the traditional navigation and the satellite navigation required the aircraft to do visual turn and align runway when operating landings at Runway 16. The meteorological requirements were therefore higher, i.e. the visibility must reach 3,600m and the pilot must be able to see the runway at the altitude of 720 feet, in order to fulfill the operational safety requirements of the visual flight rules. With the RNP-AR APCH, the meteorological requirements can be lower, i.e. when making the turn at the final approach by instrument flight rules, as long as the visibility reaches 900m and the pilot is able to see the runway at the minimum altitude of 270 feet, this weather minima is adequate to fulfill the same level of operational safety requirements. The new procedures have therefore greatly reduced the number of go-arounds and flight diversions due to unfavourable weather conditions for the aircraft when landing at Runway 16; in other words, the new procedures have greatly enhanced the safety and efficiency of operating aircraft landings at Runway 16.View gallery