Filing an ICAO flight plan will become a bit more complicated this fall, if you file them by hand. Gone will be the old days of telling a flight service station that your aircraft is a slant “A” or a slant “R.”
Performance Based Navigation
NextGen’s Performance Based Navigation (PBN) is at the heart of new airspace designs for Northern California. The new routes will improve the flow of air traffic into and out of San Francisco International, San Jose, Sacramento and Oakland.
Southwest Airlines’ ambitious fleetwide implementation of required navigation performance (RNP) operations is making slow progress. Since initiating flights in January using the precision approach procedures to save track miles and fuel, the airline’s use of RNP represents just 1 percent of its daily operations, said Capt. David Newton, Southwest senior manager of airspace.
A joint effort by the FAA and industry aimed at integrating airspace and deconflicting traffic flows over major metropolitan areas is making progress, according to participants.
Study teams have completed work at the first two of 21 identified “metroplex” sites–metropolitan areas with multiple airports and municipalities–designated by the FAA through the Optimization of Airspace and Procedures in the Metroplex (OAPM) initiative.
GE Aviation published its second “public-use” required navigation performance (RNP) approach procedure in the U.S., now available for operations into Deadhorse Airport, Alaska. The company is developing a third public-use RNP procedure at Dallas Love Field as part of an air traffic management trial there.
A nationwide effort to “de-conflict” airspace in major metropolitan areas using existing technology and procedures is progressing, with studies completed at the first two of several designated sites.
GE Aviation acquired Naverus, the Kent, Wash.-based supplier of performance-based navigation (PBN) services. Among these services are required navigation performance (RNP) procedure development, PBN procedure maintenance, operations support and consulting for airlines, air navigation service providers and airports.
The FAA has delayed until March 12 implementation of a new low-altitude area navigation route (Rnav), T-254, in the vicinity of the Houston terminal area. The delay is needed for additional processing and charting time. The route was scheduled to take effect January 15.
The FAA has released a road map for performance-based navigation that will enable pilots to use Rnav and RNP procedures in all phases of flight in the National Airspace System by 2020, leaving only a minimal network of ground-based navaids in place. In the near term (2003 to 2006), the first set of public Rnav and RNP guidelines will be implemented as the FAA continues to work on more widespread operations.
In late summer, Jeff Williams, manager of the FAA’s newly established required navigation performance (RNP) program office, briefed a government/industry specialist group on the agency’s implementation for a nationwide public RNP plan.
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