Green Skies of Brazil

Not every professional gets to see on a daily basis the impact of her/his work on other people’s lives. If you happen to be a physician you might; however, if like me you decided to become an engineer, it is likely that you will not experience this feeling as frequently.

The Green Skies of Brazil was launched as part of one of the largest collaborative civil aviation programs: the Brazil ATM Joint Research, led by GE Aviation and the Brazil Air Navigation Service Provider, DECEA. This partnership with key civil aviation stakeholders includes the airlines, their association ABEAR, and the regulatory agency ANAC and aims to analyze and improve airport, airspace, and airline operations in Brazil. It will positively affect thousands of passengers each day and help airlines to become more efficient.

The first phase of Green Skies of Brazil focuses on the deployment of Required Navigation Performance (RNP-AR) approaches, designed by DECEA with support from GE Aviation. This deployment will happen in ten major airports in Brazil. RNP technology allows aircrafts to fly precisely defined flight paths without relying on ground-based radio navigation aids, helping to reduce delays, fuel consumption, and noise while increasing capacity. GOL and Azul Brazilian airlines are already integrating the procedures in their daily operations. Other qualified operators will follow.

GE Global Research (GRC) in Brazil has been working on a key piece in the Green Skies of Brazil, supporting GE Aviation Systems with core big data analytics. GRC has delivered invaluable gate-to-gate simulations and a data-driven framework for detecting and quantifying the benefits of RNP-AR approaches in different Brazilian airports using massive amount of flight data.

Program results are already affecting passengers at different locations. The image below shows more than five months of real-world flight data relative to conventional approaches (in blue) to the Santos Dumont airport in Rio de Janeiro. In red, 36 approaches using RNP-AR technology from Green Skies can also be seen. The reduced variability and the shortened flight path are helping to save both fuel and time at this airport.

Ordinary (blue) x RNP-AR (red) approaches to the Santos Dumont Airport, in Rio de Janeiro.

So, next time you fly within Brazil, be aware that you might be getting to your destination more efficiently because of Green Skies!

Let me know what you think.