NAV CAN and RNP – What is it and How Does it Affect You?

If you have been watching the news or reading the papers, perhaps you have heard about NAV Canada and the new Required Navigational Performance Procedure (RNP) that will soon be deployed throughout North America. The policy changes these programs will create will have a direct, and hopefully positive, effect on your life.

What is the Goal of NAV Canada?

NAV CAN was set up to “improve efficiency using advanced navigation capabilities.” As technology changes so does aviation technology. NAV CAN helps to implement more advanced forms of GPS navigation and apply the new RNP procedures on all runway approaches.

What is RNP?

RNP stands for the Required Navigational Performance Procedure. The purpose of this procedure is to reorganize flight patterns to reduce noise and emissions. Current landing patterns require planes to descend in steps. This forces aircraft to fly closer to the ground earlier in the landing pattern. In order to hold to these patterns, the plane must fire up their engines repeatedly. The new system allows planes to stay higher in the air until they line up with the runway.

Green RNP Approach Benefits

Green RNP Approach Benefits

This graphic helps to visualize the changes. The RNP approach covers less flight area and is a continuous glide-in decent. West Jet has already implemented this improved approach vector with other airlines to upgrade their equipment, train their pilots and adopt this procedure in the near future.

How Does the RNP Benefit Calgary Residents?

There are two main benefits for the Calgary International Airport and Calgary residents in general.

A Cleaner Environment

A shorter flight path with a gradual decent means that less fuel will be burned creating lower emissions. The airplanes will stay at a higher elevation longer which again reduces the emissions being trapped at lower elevations. This will improve the air quality in Calgary. Fuel savings are projected to exceed 2,5 million litres per year which will eliminate 6,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Noise Reduction

Creating a tighter and more direct landing path will funnel airline noise into a narrow corridor, virtually eliminating airline noise for many communities including Westhills and Lakeview communities as can be seen from this photo of Runway 17. The existing flight paths are in blue. The new RNP flight path is in pink.

Flight Paths

Flight Paths

How are You Involved?

As you can see from this brief summary, there are many benefits created by NAV CAN’s implementation of the new RNP approach over the Calgary International Airport. However, the benefits may not have much of an effect in the PBP Community. The new approach vector will be right over our heads. We do not believe that there will be any noise reduction for our area.

As a resident and member of the PBP Community, your input, comments and participation are vital. NAV CAN has been sponsoring Open Houses to help residents learn more and provide one-on-one dialogue. Residents are encourage to provide their feedback by January 30, 2016.

If you would like to submit an aircraft concern to the Calgary Airport Authority, please fill out the online form at In addition, all residents are encourage to provide their input into the discussion of the airspace changes via an online survey. The survey can be found at and the deadline is January 30, 2016. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Sean Hayes, President of the PBP Community Association.

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