05 February 2016

Good News for ATR operations into Queenstown

Air New Zealand’s announced it’s entered into a partnership with aircraft manufacturer ATR to equip its 68-seat turboprop fleet with advanced Required Navigation Performance (RNP AR) technology. RNP AR enables specially trained pilots to fly to lower altitudes with a more precise and efficient route into the airport, saving fuel and emissions and helping reduce the impact of bad weather on services. The airline announced late last year it would purchase 15 new ATR72-600 aircraft to operate its regional services, four to allow for further growth on regional routes and 11 to replace its ATR72-500 fleet, bringing its ATR fleet to 29 aircraft. Today’s announcement is a commitment by Air New Zealand to invest more than $25m in RNP capability for the fleet. Air New Zealand Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan says the advanced RNP AR capability will greatly benefit the airline’s customers. “This technology will enable us to provide a more consistent service for customers who travel on our ATR aircraft where weather conditions can at times prove challenging for our turboprop operations, particularly over the winter months,” says Captain Morgan. ATR VP Contracts Fabrice Vautier, says it has a long and proud history of working with Air New Zealand and is excited to collaborate on this market leading project which, when complete, will see the airline become the first ATR operator in the world to use this advanced RNP AR capability. Pending certification and regulatory approval the first advanced RNP enabled ATR aircraft is expected to enter the fleet in 2018.

Source : Air New Zealand Media Release


  1. I thought the ATR72-600's where RNP capable.

    Is this an enhanced version of RNP technology?

  2. The -600's were supposed to be, but it didn't work out quite that way when they arrived. This is to get them certified to that standard.

  3. Technically they are RNP capable for enroute and approach down to 0.3 but don't have the back up capability to escape in an environment that does not have Radar unlike the A320 and B737 which has dual IRS coasting capability should the FMC/GPS updating be lost. Stand alone RNP AR capability is much more difficult to achieve and would require an IRS equivalent kit.