FAA Releases Navigation Strategy for the National Airspace System

Significant questions still remain as the timeline grows.

FAA Performance-Based Navigation Strategy
The nation's future navigation system will eliminate ground-based navaids and focus on satellites for guidance.FAA

In recently released details for its Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) strategy for the airspace above the U.S., the FAA has provided insights into the how it will make necessary system changes, in addition to why. PBN defines the accuracy, availability and integrity of the satellite signals used to create the nation’s future navigation system by eliminating ground-based navaids and focusing on satellites for guidance.

As it promotes PBN and the benefits of a global satellite system, such as the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), the PBN strategy also “recognizes the need to maintain resilient PBN capabilities that remain unaffected in the event of GNSS interference, and that can continue to support PBN operations or provide safe navigation alternatives.” Essentially, what happens to our navigation system if an earth-induced conflict or natural disaster should interrupt those satellite signals.

To be certain the new navigation strategy works as intended, the FAA has created four guiding principles to implementation; the right procedure to meet the need, a structure that is both beneficial and flexible when possible, completing the shift to time and speed based air traffic management and delivering all of this through the use of truly resilient navigation services. The drawbacks, according to some critics, include the implementation timeline that seems to continue to push completion further and further into the future.