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New ICAO publication (Doc 9613)

Doc 9613, Performance-based Navigation (PBN) Manual. Vol I – Concept and Implementation Guidance. Vol II – Implementing RNAV and RNP Operations. Fifth Edition, 2023.

The performance-based navigation (PBN) concept specifies that aircraft RNAV and RNP system performance requirements be defined in terms of accuracy, integrity, continuity and functionality, which are needed for the proposed operations in the context of a particular airspace concept. Performance requirements are identified in navigation specifications, which also identify the choice of navigation sensors and equipment that may be used to meet the performance requirements. These navigation specifications are defined in a sufficient level of detail to facilitate global harmonization by providing specific implementation guidance for States and operators. This manual contains a very broad range of information, guidance and other considerations for stakeholders who are choosing to implement PBN applications. This includes an explanation of the PBN concept, implementation guidance for a PBN application, considerations for States and service providers and guidance/requirements for aircraft and operators.

Since the original PBN concept publication in 2008, a number of changes have been introduced. New navigation specifications intended to meet the needs of future navigation applications, notably RNP 2 and Advanced RNP, were included in the 4th edition of the PBN Manual (2013), along with advanced functionality such as radius to fix (RF path terminator).

The RF path terminator functionality was initially included as a capability within the RNP AR APCH navigation specification requiring specific authorization. As more aircraft acquired this capability and airspace designers began to see the advantages of its use, the RF path terminator was included as an optional capability. The use of RF path terminator for anything other than RNP AR APCH has been clarified within the 5th Edition and Doc 8168 (PANS-OPS, Volume II).

Advanced RNP was initially intended as a future navigation specification, which would incorporate requirements and options for the potential development of multiple application concepts, including scalability of the RNP value. In the 5th edition of this manual, this navigation specification is refined to reflect the updated requirements of DO-236()/ED-75(), except the requirement for scalable RNP value has been removed, as described in Volume II, Part C, Chapter 4.

While no attempt has been made in this manual to remove, or mark as obsolete, any navigation specification, it should be considered that, for some applications, a move from RNAV to RNP is now recommended (for example, RNAV 10 is considered archaic, while RNP 4 provides improved operations). As the progression in aircraft and system technologies continues, the designation of navigation specifications as ‘not intended for future applications’ may be considered.

The 4th edition also introduced RNP 0.3 as a navigation specification intended primarily for helicopter use, while in the 5th edition, this is clarified as being solely for the use of helicopters. Similarly, the increasing focus on remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) has generated questions regarding the suitability of the existing navigation specifications for RPAS operations and the need to develop RPAS-specific navigation specifications. No mention is made in this manual of RPAS or the use of PBN by autonomous/semi-autonomous aircraft. It is expected that these systems, where they will be integrated into existing airspace, will comply with the requirements of such airspace and therefore will need to be approved for PBN operations consistent with the guidance and criteria contained in Volume II. Future development, including specific navigation specifications for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)-type operations, may need to be considered if an operational requirement can be clearly described.

The 5th edition also includes changes affecting RNP implementation including updated technical standards from the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) and the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE), expansion of RNP applications where authorization is required, lessons learned from RNP procedures publication and updated PBN regulatory guidance material.


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