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New Approach Procedures of Macau International Airport Enhancing Operational Safety and Efficiency: Approval Granted to the Local Airline Operator13 Jun 2019

Following the new approach procedures submitted to Civil Aviation Authority of Macao SAR (AACM) by Macau International Airport being officially effective from 23rd May 2019, AACM granted Air Macau a temporary approval on 13th June. As such, the referred Airline Operator can adopt new approach procedure with the optimized navigational technology to make the landings on Runway 16 (from north to south direction) and reduce the chances of go-arounds or flight diversions due to unfavorable weather conditions and greatly improve the operational safety and on-time performance.

Since the start of operations of Macau International Airport, the approach for Runway 16 has always required high weather minima due to the noise restrictions from the neighboring region that the traditional navigation and even satellite navigation approach procedures must be made with an offset approach mode. The cases of the flight go-arounds or diversion often occurred, especially during the spring season. According to the analysis of the historical data, the rate of missed approach from Runway 16 is 6.1 times higher than that of Runway 34 (from south to north direction), which results in severe impacts on the normal landings of the aircraft.

In order to tackle such operational deficiency, a joint workgroup was formed with the initiative from Macau International Airport Company Ltd. in collaboration with AACM and Air Macau in year 2017. It was decided to adopt the ICAO standard, namely Required Navigation Performance –Authorized Required or RNP-AR approach procedures to optimize the operations form Runway 16. The airport company then contracted NAVBLUE Design Company, a subsidiary of Airbus to make the detailed design of such procedures, which was submitted to AACM for approval after the flight inspections both by China Flight Inspection Center and Air Macau at the end of year 2018.

With the approval from AACM, Air Macau is the first Airline Operator to adopt such procedures in the first phase after implementation, enabling the flight crew of Air Macau to make the safe landings with the weather minima as low as 900 meters with cloud base 270 feet. Taking this opportunity, Macau International Airport calls for more airline operators to take relevant arrangements and actions as soon as possible in terms of aircraft on-board equipment and flight crew training, so that the application can be made to AACM in order to grant such flight approval and provide better services to all the passengers to and from Macao SAR.