Thanks to stepped-up retirement of older planes during the recession, about half the U.S. fleet is currently equipped for Required Navigation Performance, a technology that allows aircraft to fly on precise flight paths that are accurate to within the wingspan of a plane. Already in use in Alaska and Canada, RNP has been shown to reduce delays, especially during bad weather, which can cut landings by half under a conventional radar system. The FAA plans to phase in RNP procedures at the nation's busiest airports, starting with New York and Chicago.

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