GE Aviation announced it is working on “AIRE, the Atlantic-Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions, a European initiative. A trial kicks off in Stockholm later this year and will run for 10 months. The company estimates that it could save 100 kilograms of fuel a flight.”
It uses technology from Naverus which it acquired last year. Naverus was formed by two Alaska Airlines employees. In the mid '90s, they created Required Navigation Performance flight paths around the mountains in Alaska so that aircraft could safely descend through the clouds to be properly positioned for touchdown on the runway. That safety focus has morphed to more efficient performance.
Southwest Airlines is a large RNP adopter. “Only a handful of airports have RNP procedures in place, but about 20 that Southwest flies to will have them by the end of the year. For passengers, RNP will be a different experience. Instead of lining up miles away from an airport to land and then stair-stepping down by descending and then powering up engines to level off over and over, airplanes will glide at idle almost all the way to touchdown. The descent will be continuous and quieter. Some turns will be tight close to airports. It will feel like the plane is swooping in at the last few minutes of flight instead of long, drawn-out approaches.”