Performance Based Navigation (PBN)

PBN is laying the foundations for the airspace system not just of tomorrow, but for years to come.

The PBN concept was developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and moves aviation away from the traditional use of aircraft navigating by ground based beacons to a system more reliant on airborne technologies utilising Area Navigation and global navigation satellite systems.

PBN sets the level of accuracy, integrity and continuity that the aircraft’s navigation systems will have to meet as well as the required functionality. Within an airspace concept it also requires that the availability of the navigation infrastructure be considered in supporting the desired navigation performance. PBN will allow the implementation of airspace structures that take advantage of aircraft able to fly more flexible, accurate, repeatable and therefore deterministic three dimensional flight paths using onboard equipment capabilities. It has variously been described as reengineering the way we fly. 


PBN in a Future Airspace Strategy Context

PBN is an essential component of delivering the objectives underpinning the Future Airspace Strategy and consequential modernisation of the UK airspace system. That modernisation envisages transition from airspace, routes and instrument flight procedures (including holds), predicated on conventional navigation systems e.g., VHF Omni-directional Range (VOR), Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), Non Directional Beacons (NDB) to an airspace described in terms of Performance-based Navigation. This provides the opportunity for a significant airspace re-design, especially of the terminal airspace structure, which will enable the ATM system to be modernised and deliver a series of environmental, capacity and efficiency benefits.

PBN is therefore laying the foundations for the airspace system not just of tomorrow, but for years to come as future navigation developments such as three-dimensional (3D) and four -dimensional (4D) user preferred trajectories evolve.

In this section

What is PBN?
Benefits from PBN
PBN Policy and Implementation Plan
RNAV (GNSS) Approach Operations

For more information contact pbn@caa.co.uk

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