Civil Aviation Authority Sets Out Policy On Performance Based Navigation
By Daniel Baxter
April 19, 2011 - The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
has published proposed policy guidance on
Performance-based Navigation (PBN) in UK and Irish
Airspace. The document is a key component of the CAA’s
Future Airspace Strategy, designed to help UK airspace
evolve to meet future demands.
Over the years, the UK’s airspace system has become
complex and increasingly difficult to manage as it has
been changed to meet different demands. In order to meet
future demand safely and efficiently a radical rethink
The CAA, together with the Department for Transport, Ministry of Defense and NATS, is developing a proposal the Future Airspace Strategy to provide the safest and most efficient airspace possible.
The proposal reduce delays, which is aligned with European developments and technological changes, reduces the impact of aviation on the environment and balances the needs of all airspace users. The final strategy, which outlines the strategy for UK airspace up to 2030, will be published in June.
The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its
activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets
the highest technical and operational safety standards;
preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing
money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and
regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic
services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy
from an economic standpoint.
The PBN concept was developed by the International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO) and moves aviation away from the
traditional use of aircraft navigating by ground based beacons
to a system more reliant on airborne technology, including use
of global navigation satellite systems.
PBN sets the level of accuracy, integrity and availability that
the aircraft’s navigation systems will have to meet as well as
the required functionality. This will allow the implementation
of airspace structures that takes advantage of more accurate
navigation, meaning that aircraft will be able to fly more
direct routes more efficiently, resulting in reduced delays and
The new policy has been developed by an industry group led by
the CAA, which includes the Irish Aviation Authority, NATS, MoD,
Airport Operators Association, EUROCONTROL and the major UK
airlines, reflecting the joint working arrangements within the
UK and Irish Functional Airspace Block. It sets the framework
around which PBN can be applied as well as providing the
regulatory framework to enable Air Navigation Service Providers
to implement the system.
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