PBN Concept

The PBN (Performance Based Navigation) concept, detailed in the Performance Based Navigation Manual, ICAO Doc 9613, specifies requirements regarding the performances a specific Area Navigation (RNAV) system should have, in order to ensure accuracy, integrity, accessibility, reliability and functionality needed for a planned flight operation in a previously specified airaspace concept, which is supported by relevant navigation infrastructure.

In that sense, the PBN concept makes a significant change since it initiates transition from the navigation based on specific navigation sensors to the performance based navigation.

The application of the PBN concept enables a number of advantages as compared to past development of the airspace concept, which was previously based on the position of radionavigation aids and related obstacle avoidance criteria. Advantages of this concept in relation to conventional navigation procedures are the following:
  • It reduces a need for routes and procedures design, in accordance with a relevant navigation sensor (NDB & VOR routes);
  • It enables increased airspace efficiency (flexible route design, reduced fuel consumption, and thus reduced air pollution, noise abatement etc.);
  • It simplifies the operation of the RNAV systems in use;
  • It simplifies the process of obtaining an ATC clearance for aircraft operators. 
The PBN concept is based on the use of RNAV systems, and its application requires two basic inputs or components: navigation infrastructure, navigation specification and navigation application (a combined application of first two components within the airspace concept to ATS routes and instrument procedures). The PBN concept is, within the airspace concept, presented as a relationship between the three components:

Having designated navigation specifications, we get a basis for the establishment of relevant operating requirements to be met for obtaining navigation system certificates. Thus the navigation specification thoroughly defines the performances required for the system, to ensure its relevant accuracy, integrity, accessibility, reliability and functionality.

Navigation specification can be either RNAVor RNP, which basically both belong to the RNAV concept, but the RNP specification additionally requires that an airborne navigation system has a function of the defined performances surveillance and an alerting function installed. 

The following navigation specifications are outlined in the PBN Manual mentioned above:

The figure below illustrates current and future navigation concepts, including the advantages which result from new navigation specifications: