The PBN approach paths into Christchurch provide a set of flight paths which can be flown on both fine and poor visibility days, and allow aircraft to line up with the runway much closer to the airport.
The portion of air traffic expected to fly the trial approach paths will vary, but Airways’ indications are that about a quarter of scheduled passenger arrivals will use them on a “typical” day.
Airways’ figures show that, when in use, Runway 02 (primarily used in easterly wind conditions) can expect approximately 28 PBN flights a day, which is 30% of all flights.
Runway 20 (primarily used in southerly wind conditions) can expect approximately seven flights a day (8%). Runway 29 (primarily used in north-westerly conditions) can expect approximately 28 flights a day (30%).
Those numbers on the runways may vary on a day where the wind changes direction, but the maximum number of PBN flights per runway should not rise.
Most jet aircraft, as well as some turboprop aircraft (from mid-2018), will be capable of flying the trial approaches. However many will still fly a visual approach in fine weather (including north-westerly conditions using Runway 29), or may fly another approach type for training, or to assist with Air Traffic Control sequencing.
The impact of the trial paths, in general terms, is that aircraft will be at a higher altitude over the city, which will result in reduced noise. There will also be fewer flights over Wigram, Hornby and Prebbleton and the trial flight paths will avoid direct overflight of Templeton and West Melton.