MIAMI— Airbus has confirmed the development of a modification which will increase the performance of the A320neo on short runways.
The innovation, referred to as “SHARP” (SHort AiRfield Package), aims to increase wing lift at low speeds for operations on short runways. such as Rio de Janeiro’s Alberto Santos-Dumont Airport in Brazil (SDU), which has a 4,330ft (1,320ft) runway,
Airbus says the upgrade, developed by its UK and German engineering teams, includes a composite panel modification to the wing-root fairing which will “optimize” airflow, and enable slower approach speeds, thus improving landing performance.
The manufacturer has identified several operators which would benefit from such package, which is intended to be offered as an option on the A320neo exclusively. Also, the benefits of SHARP are independent of a particular thrust rating, and compatibility would not be affected.
To date, Airbus has sold more than 12,200 single aisle CEO and NEO aircraft and delivered over 6,700 CEOs to more than 300 operators worldwide. Among these, Azul Linhas Aereas, Avianca, VivaAerobus, Volaris, and LATAM Airlines are A320neo customers in Latin America.
In 2004, Boeing offered a Short Field Performance (SFP) package, which was launched by GOL Linhas Aéreas. The optional package is available for all 737NG models, and is a standard for the 737-900ER variant.
According to the current Airbus Global Market Forecast, Latin American and Caribbean airlines will require 2,294 new aircraft between 2015 and 2034, including 1,784 single-aisle. Particularly, Brazil is poised to jump from its current 10th position to the 5th largest air travel market with 272 million passengers by 2034 according to IATA.