Plenty of ambition in the PBN Roadmap 2020-2030

3 augustus 2020

Ten years ago, the Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W) set out an ambitious roadmap to overhaul the navigation infrastructure within the Netherlands, by moving from sensor-based navigation to Performance-Based Navigation (PBN). This year, the new PBN Roadmap will come into force for the next decade. And it is as ambitious as its predecessor.

The new PBN Roadmap will follow in large part the new Dutch Aviation Policy, or ‘Luchtvaartnota’ and the revision of our airspace infrastructure ‘Luchtruimherziening’. These policies are an outline of how aviation will look like in the medium- and long-term future. Key elements are environment – reducing C02 emissions –, reducing the number of residents effected by noise hindrance around airports -, and overall access to the Dutch airspace. To make sure that the roadmap is robust and enduring, I&W has asked Adecs Airinfra Consultants, MovingDot and ADSE to develop a new roadmap from the perspective of all aviation stakeholders. We are proud to be part of the development of the new roadmap.

The technology is here

The benefits of introducing PBN procedures are optimisation, higher accuracy and reliability, and less dependency on ground signals due to the usage of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). The implementation of PBN solutions can be used to tackle environmental issues and enhance operations, both for large and small airports. Since there is less dependency on ground signals, it is possible to create flight procedures that have less impact on the surrounding areas. And with more and more aircraft able to use PBN, there is one less hurdle to take in implementing. The implementation of Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance (LPV) procedures, does give regional airports without NAVAIDs greater accessibility and with its low minimums could possibly replace Instrument Landing System (ILS) cat. 1 for precision approaches.

The need is here

As aviation continues to grow, the need for PBN becomes even greater. Not only will it contribute to safer and efficient airspaces, specifically around airports, it will also help optimise flightpaths to reduce emissions and noise. It is something that is also important in the ‘Luchtvaartnota’, where noise (by avoiding populated areas and use of noise abatement procedures) has a higher priority under 6,000 feet, and emissions (shorter routes or more efficient procedures) above this height. In regard to safety for instance, navigation becomes more accurate. In order for airports to expand the movements to and from the airport, one of the main conditions in the Netherlands is that the expansion does lead to the decrease of noise annoyance. Recalibrating flight paths and procedures is one way to achieve that. So, if we want to further develop our airports, PBN is in our view one of the most important factors to facilitate this.

The will is here

Due to many factors, implementing major changes in aviation can be a challenge. Countries have their own laws and regulations in regard to aviation, and on an international level the harmonisation of procedures can be lengthy. Yet, we feel that this is the time to start to implement PBN. More and more stakeholders see the benefits of it and are open to making the necessary changes. And the regulation from the European Union with PBN Implementing Rule 2018/1048 ensures a transition.

What impact the Covid19-crisis will have on the future of aviation is anybody’s guess at the moment. What it does not seem to impact, is the ambition both the aviation industry as well as governments have to optimise Air Traffic Management, in order to make and keep the industry future proof. The new PBN Roadmap will become available soon. When it is definite, we will publish the results on our website, so make sure to keep an eye out. In the meantime, if you would like to know how PBN might affect your airport and its operations, do contact us. We are more than happy to help you.

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