Canada To Decommission Hundreds of VORs, NDBs

 - March 4, 2019, 12:08 PM

Nav Canada, the country’s provider of civil air navigation services, has finished a study of navigation aids and concluded that “given the comprehensive radar surveillance coverage, and the propensity of area navigation (Rnav) with global navigation satellite system (GNSS) equipped aircraft, many VOR and NDB navigation aids (navaids) are no longer required and should be decommissioned.” 

The decommissioning process will be done in 15 phases over the next seven years. Where a current navaid identified in the study serves as an instrument approach aid or anchors an airway segment, Nav Canada said it will “ensure that a Rnav/GNSS instrument approach procedures or Rnav airway segments are published, where required, before removal of the identified navaid.”

Aeronautical information circulars (AICs) will be published for each upcoming phase, Nav Canada said. The first phase, consisting of decommissioning some 20 navaids deemed nonessential, will start on April 25. Corresponding aeronautical charts will also be amended.

Nav Canada’s action follows the FAA’s decommissioning of legacy navaids that started in 2012. Under the U.S. agency’s planned schedule, a minimum operational network of VORs and an “optimized network” of DMEs would be retained, and this drawdown would be complete by January 1 next year.