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AS studies changes for SEA landings


Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) - July 8, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 8:11am PDT
Alaska Airlines studies changes for Sea-Tac landings

Alaska Airlines said it=92s testing new flight procedures at
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport that the airline said could save
it millions of gallons of fuel each year and provide for quieter

Alaska is testing landing procedures using a satellite guidance
technology called required navigation performance, or RNP. According
to the airline, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK) of
Seattle, the technology allows planes to =93descend more efficiently and
reduce aircraft fuel consumption, emissions and noise in the Puget
Sound region.=94

The airline said it=92s working with airport operator Port of Seattle,
Boeing Co. (Alaska Airlines flies an all-Boeing 737 fleet), and the
Federal Aviation Administration during the testing of the system.

Alaska Airlines said the new system could cut its fuel consumption by
2.1 million gallons a year, reduce carbon emissions by 22,000 metric
tons, and reduce landing noise created by its planes.

=93With FAA approval, we hope the procedures will be available to all
carriers and gradually integrated into the Seattle air traffic system.
This project could also become a blueprint for expanded use of
next-generation technology at more U.S. airports,=94 said Gary Beck,
Alaska=92s vice president of flight operations, in a statement.

Alaska said it hopes to obtain FAA approval for the system, which
would also be used by sister airline Horizon Air, by next year.

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