Performance-based navigation discussion draws crowd at Avionics Europe

MUNICH, 20 Feb. 2013. Performance-based navigation (PBN) is a complex and important topic, affirmed Vance Hilderman, president of Atego HighRely in San Diego and an Avionics Europe Advisory Board member, during the Avionics Europe conference in Munich.

Hilderman chaired the well-attended “Performance-based Navigation” session at Avionics Europe 2013. “PBN is built on three things: navigation specification, navigation application, and NAVAID infrastructure,” says Rich Farnworth, navigation specialist at EuroControl in France. It started with RNAV, and now we’re looking forward to advanced RNP. The target date for this evolution is 2018, and it’s all on the way to 4D (four-dimensional) operations, which is part of the SESAR operational concept.” 

EuroControl is assisting the European Commission to develop an Interoperability Implementing Rule on PBN to define navigation requirements and identify functionalities to support air traffic management in Europe.

“One of the problems we have is all the acronyms,” says Farnworth, who admits that the terminology can be confusing.

He offers the following PNB-related acronyms as an example:

NPA – non-precision approach

PA – precision approach

CDFA – continued descent final approach

APV – approach with vertical guidance

It’s time to revisit the reasoning behind MLS, according to Frank Kaiser, consulting and engineering, ADSE in the Netherlands.

Can we stop fatalities related to runway overruns? asks Patrick Fornili, manager of cockpit and avionics systems at Airbus in France. Excursions have cost the industry $6.5 billion over 25 years, plus indirect costs and lost revenue, he says, before describing the Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) from Airbus.

Runway Overrun Prevention aids decision making with warnings and alerts, and measures the energy of the aircraft, he adds. “The pilot does not need to think and just needs to read what to do.”

ROPS is an Airbus technology to reduce runway excursion risk at landing. The system provides energy monitoring on dry and wet runways, an easy retrofit, leverage for negotiating reduced insurance fees, and worldwide coverage, Fornili explains.

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