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Alaska Airlines to Use RNP Precision Approach Technology at Two Alaska Airports

New procedures for Adak and improved technology in Ketchikan will reduce diversions and decrease fuel consumption

1/14/2010 8:15:43 AM

ANCHORAGE - Alaska Airlines today will begin using Required Navigation Performance (RNP) precision approach technology to land aircraft in Adak, Alaska, and in March will use improved procedures to land in Ketchikan, Alaska. By following more direct, RNP-guided approaches, Alaska Airlines will reduce weather-related diversions and cancellations for Ketchikan- and Adak-bound flights and cut fuel consumption.

RNP technology provides computer-plotted landing paths with pinpoint accuracy by using a combination of onboard navigation technology and the Global Positioning System satellite network. It allows aircraft to fly safer, more reliable landings, and reduces reliance on ground-based navigation aids.

"Since Alaska Airlines pioneered the use of RNP technology in Juneau in the mid-1990s, the system has been credited with saving thousands of flights from diversions or delays each year due to poor weather and airport equipment outages," said Sarah Dalton, Alaska Airlines' director of airspace technology. "The next-generation flight guidance technology benefits passengers and the airline by providing additional flight safeguards and reducing fuel consumption."

The improved procedures in Ketchikan will allow Alaska Airlines to land more precisely and with lower visibility minimums.

Since 1996, Alaska has introduced similar RNP procedures at 45 percent of the airports it serves in Alaska as well as in Washington, D.C.; Portland, Ore.; and Palm Springs, Calif. The airline is the only major U.S. carrier with a fully equipped RNP fleet and fully trained crews.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together serve more than 90 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 and 2009 North America Airline Satisfaction StudiesSM. For reservations, visit alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at alaskaair.com/newsroom.

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