GE Aviation Enables New, More Efficient Aircraft Approach Pattern

Flight management system reduces fuel use and CO2 emissions for Boeing 737s

Airlines operating Boeing 737s in Europe have been given the green light to use an optimized landing approach that significantly reduces the amount of fuel used during arrival and approach operations, thereby reducing CO2 and NOx emissions by roughly 20% compared to standard arrival procedures.

The "Advanced Continuous Descent Approach" (A-CDA), also known as the green approach, is the result of GE Aviations Systems division's successful participation in Europes NUP2+ project, whereby select 737 aircraft in Sweden are allowed to employ GE's Flight Management System (FMS) to fly the aircraft at idle thrust from cruise through landing. The FMS' reliable performance and predictability gave air traffic management authorities the confidence they needed to approve the new approach in Europe for 737s equipped with GE's FMS.

On the Boeing 737, the FMS features a unique, precise, 4-dimensional trajectory downlink for use by ATC to manage traffic flow using precision positioning and time guidance to the runway threshold.

Combined, these features enable the creation of flight profiles that are optimal for operators as well as the environment -- increasing ATM efficiency, providing fuel savings, and dramatically reducing greenhouse gas and noise emissions.


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