CANSO makes major contribution to implementation of Performance-Based Navigation

- Madrid, Spain.

CANSO, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, has announced the publication of its Performance-Based Navigation Best Practice Guide for ANSPs. This will help air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and States implement performance-based navigation (PBN), which will improve efficiency and reduce emissions for aircraft.  

Speaking at the annual CANSO Global ATM Operations Conference in Madrid, CANSO Director General, Jeff Poole, said, “Transforming air traffic management (ATM) performance globally is at the heart of CANSO’s strategic plan for ATM, Vision 2020. Our aim is to harmonise and standardise ATM globally so that planes can fly across invisible borders seamlessly. The implementation of performance-based navigation (PBN) is an important element of Vision 2020 and will help us achieve this important goal. Today’s publication of the CANSO Performance-Based Navigation Best Practice Guide for ANSPs will make a major contribution to effective implementation.”

Performance-based navigation (PBN) marks the shift from ground-based navigation aids emitting signals to aircraft receivers, to ‘in-aircraft’ systems that receive satellite signals that meet specific accuracy and integrity requirements to inform the crew of the aircraft’s position. It enables aircraft to fly along flexible routes, which helps facilitate airspace design; terminal area procedure design; traffic flow capacity; and improved access to runways. This results in more efficient operations; reduced infrastructure costs; and reduced environmental impact.

Poole added: “We all need to continue the job of explaining these benefits. We must ensure that ANSPs are PBN-capable but also that airlines fully accept PBN and have the appropriate avionics and PBN-trained crews. Globally, States are lagging in their PBN implementation targets set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); and CANSO will do everything it can to help States and ANSPs speed up the pace of implementation.”

PBN is the highest air navigation priority of ICAO and is an important element of the ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBUs). The implementation of PBN is equally a high priority for CANSO and its Members, with CANSO providing practical information on implementing PBN to States and ANSPs, including seminars and workshops on PBN.

CANSO has developed this Guide as another practical and useful tool to assist in the implementation of PBN. The document is intended to be a living document and provides practical guidance on PBN as it applies primarily to the terminal and approach environments. The Guide highlights the need for a clear and concise set of design requirements, and focuses on the areas that ANSP most commonly identified as areas of concern: knowledge, regulation, avionics equipage, resources, and training.

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Ed Hajek
I hope the CANSO Performance-based Navigation Best Practices Guide for ANSPs contains better information about PBN than the third paragraph of this article. PBN is about transitioning to area navigation. It can be achieved by either transitioning from conventional navigation to PBN like in many developing countries, or from regional area navigation to PBN. For example in Europe from P-RNAV to RNP 1, or in the United States from US RNAV Type B to RNAV 1. PBN RNAV 5 Navigation Specification allows the use of GNSS or INS or DME/DME or DME/DME/IRU or VOR/DME, so many of the existing ground-based NAVAIDs still play an important role in PBN. PBN is not only about navigating by means satellite signals, as is a very common misunderstanding in the aviation community. This would be true about any RNP Navigation Specification, which requires GNSS for ‘on-board performance monitoring and alerting’, but PBN is not only about RNP Navigation Specifications… there is RNAV 10, RNAV 5 and RNAV 1 and 2. Former types of area navigation enabled aircraft to fly along flexible routes long ago. Take the North Atlantic Organized Track Structure (NAT OTS) for example, where aircraft have been flying along ‘flexible’ routes using Minimum Navigation Performance Specification (MNPS) since 1979! Terminal area procedure designs using P-RNAV or Canadian Terminal RNAV long before PBN came on the scene already helped facilitate terminal design, traffic flow capacity and improved access to runways more than fifteen years ago. More efficient operations, like CDOs and CCOs have very little to do with PBN at all. These type of efficient operations will be a result of innovative terminal area procedure design such as “Point Merge” for example, which has been implemented in Oslo, Dublin, Lagos and now in Paris, without PBN in some cases, but with P-RNAV… which is not PBN by definition. Implementing RNP 1 with RF turn capability, or Advanced-RNP in busy terminal areas is also expected to bring some benefits, but not without clever Terminal Airspace design first. I would hope that someone from CANSO would pick up the PBN Manual (ICAO Doc 9613) and read it, or at least some parts of it, before publishing an article like this which is full of errors and misinformation. Ed Hajek, Former Chairman of the PBN Study Group

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