LAN Airlines plans to begin using advanced performance-based navigation approaches at Lima International Airport by the end of this year, and the carrier says these are likely to be the first such procedures operated by the Boeing 787.

LAN is working to implement about five required navigation performance (RNP) approaches at Lima, LAN’s CNS/ATM Technical Pilot Christian Staiger said at the GE Aviation Services Global Performance-Based Navigation Summit in Seattle last week. The carrier is scheduled to begin taking delivery of its 787s in early 2012, and while it is not the first customer for this aircraft, it is expected to be the first to operate 787s on RNP approaches.

The Lima RNP procedures are being developed in conjunction with GE Aviation Services, with the involvement of Peru’s air navigation service provider Corpac and the local regulator. The intention of the new routes is to shorten approach distances and move traffic away from heavily populated areas, says Staiger. The more-efficient approaches are forecast to produce savings of $1.5 million a year. The program is on track to be completed by the end of 2011.

LAN already operates RNP approaches at five secondary airports in Chile and Peru, and these procedures have resulted in fuel savings of 170,000 gal. between 2009 and 2011, Staiger says. RNP approaches are to be added at four more airports by the end of 2011. Currently, LAN uses its Airbus A320 fleet for RNP approaches, and 75% of its pilots are certified for RNP.