After three years of retooling and retraining, Southwest Airlines will flip the switch next week on a cockpit software upgrade designed to cut down on fuel burn, noise and delays. Starting April 6, about two-thirds of the Southwest fleet will begin using satellite navigation as they approach for landing at airports equipped for Required Navigation Performance, a key piece of the NextGen air-traffic control system. Southwest has invested $175 million in the technology upgrade -- an investment it claims it can earn back by cutting just one minute of flying time from each flight. About 20 airports served by Southwest will be approved for RNP by the end of the year.

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