An overview of Performance Based Navigation

It is true that the aviation market is set to grow at a global level. As the prices of the flight tickets drop, infrastructure is developed and governments plan for enhancing the regional connectivity by opening up new markets all over the world, there is bound to be increase in the capacity creation by the airlines. As more and more airlines increase the capacity, there has been requirement of better navigation aids which take care of safety and security concerns and are more efficient. It is with this larger need for accommodating the growth of aviation that the Performance Based Navigation (PBN) has been sought to be implemented by ICAO.

PBN And Its Implementation

PBN has been found to be effective in circumventing the ground based navigation systems which allow the flexibility to the airplanes to fly in those zones only which are covered by them. This limits the availability of airspace for the operation of flights which becomes a constraint in the operation of increased number of flights. PBN is based on the Area Navigation (RNAV) and Required Navigation Performance (RNP). This allows the airline operators to use the flexible routes as well as flexible terminal procedures.

Benefits of PBN

1.PBN is environment friendly: Due to point-to-point connectivity and the consequent shorter route flights, there are tremendous savings to be made on the fuel consumption. This will enable the airlines to provide the lowest air fare to the customers. By one estimate of IATA, the global emission cut resulting due to its operation is of about 13 million tons per year. Due to operational flexibility, the flights can take the route which is not noise-sensitive, hence preventing the noise pollution in those areas.

2.PBN improves safety: As it provides very precise and accurate lateral and vertical flight paths, the PBN is also able to reduce the incidents of accidents due to terrain. It is also able to reduce the diversions of flights, caused by weather problems.

3.Increases the capacity of airspace for utilizing more flights and increasing the efficiency of routes. This paves the way for smoother flow of the airplanes.

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