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UK Civil Aviation Regulations

These are published by the CAA on our UK Regulations pages. EU Regulations and EASA Access Guides published by EASA no longer apply in the UK. Our website and publications are being reviewed to update all references. Any references to EU law and EASA Access guides should be disregarded and where applicable the equivalent UK versions referred to instead.

One of the major aims of the Airspace Modernisation Strategy (AMS) is to optimise future airspace designs to take account of modern aircraft performance and functional capabilities – saving time and fuel and reducing emissions.

Key to achieving this is through the application of Performance-based Navigation (PBN). In parallel, the UK navigation infrastructure can also be upgraded to take advantage of the lateral navigation accuracy from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) while retaining adequate conventional ground-based navigation aids to ensure both resilience and continuity.

Requirements and scope

The requirements for PBN, in terms of the accuracy, integrity and continuity of service that airborne navigation systems must demonstrate, are set out in an international manual – ICAO Doc 9613.

  • PBN is being adopted world-wide and States are expected to modernise airspace through International, Regional and State level initiatives, including regulations.
  • PBN impacts both the high-level airways and the lower-level arrival and departure routes into and out of airports and instrument approach procedures.

The UK airspace air traffic management structures require modernisation to accommodate the increasing demand for commercial air travel while safely accommodating increasing demands for airspace access from a wide variety of other users. At the same time, greater consideration must be given to the environmental impacts of aviation. The highly accurate navigation capabilities of modern aircraft, utilising both ground and space-based navigational aids, provide an opportunity to address these issues

The highly accurate navigation capabilities of modern aircraft, utilising both ground and space-based navigational aids, provide an opportunity to address these issues

PBN provides the basis for future global navigation capability as defined in the Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP), which is ICAO’s highest air navigation strategic document and plan to drive the evolution of the global air navigation system.

Supporting legislation

European wide legislation has been developed to drive the deployment of PBN in the European region to meet the ICAO vision. At the end of the transition period, the following legislation has been retained (and amended) in UK law:

SESAR Pilot Common Project (PCP)

This mandates the deployment of key ATM Functionalities (AF) or technologies such as PBN in high-density terminal manoeuvring areas through Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 716/2014


Commission Implementing Regulation EU 2018/1048 (PBN-IR)

This regulation sets out airspace usage requirements and operating procedures concerning PBN for certain providers of air traffic management (ATM) and air navigation services (ANS).

In many instances, the introduction of PBN will not significantly alter the lateral routes flown today under the current ground-based navigation system. However, the CAA anticipates that, through the introduction of PBN, there will changes to better reflect current and planned aircraft performance.

The introduction of PBN would in most cases require airspace change. All new airspace change proposals are managed through the CAA airspace change process described in CAP 1616.

Related Information


The ICAO PBN Manual (ICAO Doc 9613 Edition 4) consists of two volumes:

Volume I

  • Part A describes the PBN Concept, its role within the airspace concept and how the PBN Concept is used in practice;
  • Part B provides Implementation Guidance for ANSPs in the form of the processes, phases and steps;
    Attachments describe RNAV and RNP systems, data processes and an outline of the operational approval process.

Volume II

  • Part A provides a general introduction to the navigation specifications, including specific guidance on on-board performance monitoring and alerting, safety assessments and navigation service monitoring;

  • Part B contains the RNAV navigation specifications, to be used by States as a basis for certification and operational approval;

  • Part C contains the RNP navigation specifications to be used by States as a basis for certification and operational approval;

  • Attachments describe Barometric VNAV and provide sample airspace concepts based on navigation specifications.

ICAO Manual on the use of Performance-based Navigation (PBN) in Airspace Design (ICAO Doc 9992 Edition 1) Performance-based Navigation (PBN) Operational Approval Manual (ICAO Doc 9997 Edition 2).

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