Performance Based Navigation (PBN)

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U.S. Operators Urged to Follow New ICAO Approach-Procedure Naming Standards

Nov. 16, 2016

As air navigation service providers outside the U.S. implement new International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) naming conventions for performance based navigation (PBN) instrument approach procedures (IAP), U.S. operators are being urged to familiarize themselves with both the new standards and country-specific aeronautical information publications (AIPs) to minimize confusion.

The changes stem from ICAO’s 2014 revision to Document 8168, Procedures for Air Navigation Services – Aircraft Operations. ICAO recommends that countries retitle PBN IAPs from “RNAV” to “RNP” by Dec. 1, 2022. Specifically, the changes will see “RNAV (GNSS) RWY XX” changed to “RNP RWY XX” and “RNAV (RNP) RWY XX” to “RNP RWY XX (AR).”

While many countries have begun to make the changes or plan to comply, the FAA plans to retain the title “RNAV” in the U.S. to maintain operational safety and avoid costs related to retitling several thousand PBN IAPs, the agency said.

“There is likely to be a lot of confusion for operators flying outside the U.S., as they are not accustomed to seeing approaches titled ‘RNP’ except for ‘RNAV (RNP) AR,’” said Rich Boll, chairman of the NBAA Access Committee's ATC, Airspace and Flight Technologies Working Group.

“It is important that operators familiarize themselves with specific foreign AIPs to know their status on implementing the changes, and to recognize that, in places that have implemented the changes, ‘RNP RWY XX’ is not necessarily ‘RNP AR,’” Boll added.

While the U.S. does not intend to adopt the ICAO standard regarding the titles of PBN IAPs, the FAA is highlighting the ICAO changes in several ways. FAA is inserting a note into OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052, Straight-In Non-Precision, APV, and Category I Precision Approach and Landing Minima – All Airports, such that authorization to fly “RNAV (GPS)” IAP should extend to procedures in foreign states titled “RNAV (GNSS) RWY XX” and/or “RNP RWY XX.”

Similarly, a note in OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C384, Required Navigation Performance Procedures With Authorization Required, will reflect ICAO changes from “RNAV (RNP) RWY XX” to “RNP RWY XX (AR),” the FAA said.