Putting “Performance” Into Aircraft Approach Navigation

Andreas Lipp

Abstract: Recently the term “performance-based” has been used in many different contexts in aviation – PBN (Performance-Based Navigation) being the most prominent one, but also in PBAOM (Performance-Based Airport Operation Minima), “performance-based” rulemaking, etc. In all cases the goal is the definition of parameters at higher than system level which fully describe the necessary criteria to meet a given operational objective. For a variety of reasons this goal is hard to achieve, leading to a mix of-system- and objective-based criteria in literature on the above-mentioned navigation applications. With PBAOM, ICAO wants to achieve better access into aerodromes based on a better match between the actual equipment of aircraft and airport than based only on the current NPA/APV/CAT I, II ,III designators. However, while pilots would like to see more recognition of actual aircraft capability, they also wish less complex sets of approach charts. In a joint ICAO/EASA/EUROCONTROL Approach Operations Symposium it was recommended to provide only one approach chart per geometric path flown, independent of system used. So, while the minima would remain system-dependent, but calculated by the pilot, controllers would only be responsible for the cleared path in space, not the system in use. Such a change, possible only in the longer term, needs a precise description and categorisation of the relevant data to enable the procedure designer, pilot and controller to perform their respective tasks. Such a description also is important in the European regulatory context, where the regulatory oversight for the different elements may lie with different, independent entities. Another reason for a better description is the current plethora of new entrants in the airspace (RPAS, space vehicles, hypersonic aircraft, autonomous aircraft, air taxies, etc.), not all of which comply in the same way with the implicit assumptions made in today’s classification. In parallel, automation in the ATM and procedure design worlds allows the use of methodologies not available previously. This paper tries to describe the necessary “performance” from the perspective of an operational objective by analysing the function of the different contributors and components contributing to the objective, without going into system specificities. It does so by listing existing tasks and responsibilities of each of the elements and partners: • Aircraft capabilities and approvals • Pilot and operator tasks, training and regulatory constraints • Airport infrastructure and air navigation services provider and approval authority • Airspace/procedure designer tasks and approval authority • Air Traffic Control and Management providers and their authorities For each of the list elements an analysis is performed whether its current handling is suitable for a truly performance-based approach or whether it can be better handed over to another partner. Once the optimal distribution of responsibilities is determined, the interfaces and the required performance can be more easily described, taking care to remain complete and as neutral as possible with respect to systems and category of air vehicles. As the implementation of the PBN concept in enroute and terminal airspace has shown, such a change is more difficult to accomplish as soon as legacy systems have to be considered and in consequence the process becomes more and more systems based. It is thus important to launch the discussions amongst all the contributors early, so that general consensus at ICAO can be reached, agreed and documented before significant implementation activities have occurred in isolation. This is the principal objective of this paper.
Published in: Proceedings of the 32nd International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2019)
September 16 - 20, 2019
Hyatt Regency Miami
Miami, Florida
Pages: 1364 - 1380
Cite this article: Lipp, Andreas, "Putting “Performance” Into Aircraft Approach Navigation," Proceedings of the 32nd International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2019), Miami, Florida, September 2019, pp. 1364-1380. https://doi.org/10.33012/2019.16903
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