Performance Based Navigation (PBN)
Performance Based Navigation (PBN) is an ICAO concept, based on harmonising global navigation specifications with the aim of simplifying future standards while also making flight operations more efficient.
The EASA implementation of PBN places more focus on GA use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), particularly with the increasing amount of instrument approaches based on GNSS. A 2016 addition to the Aircrew Regulation (Part-FCL) mandated future formal training and testing in PBN operations (these include instrument approaches as well as future amendments to enroute airspace) for Instrument Rating holders. The UK IMC Rating/Instrument Rating (Restricted) come under separate national arrangements, yet to be clarified.
The UK deadlines for PBN training and testing provide a sliding scale for compliance. IR holders will require PBN privileges to have been issued to fly PBN procedures beyond 25th August 2018, and all IR holders will be required to have gained PBN privileges by 25th August 2020 to maintain a current IR – UK CAA Information Notice 2017/034 contains more information.
The process to gain PBN privilege varies depending on the experience of the licence holder. The grant of PBN privilege requires demonstration of both practical and theoretical competence, with the practical element being a PBN approach under test conditions, usually during a regular IR renewal or revalidation flight. The UK process for theoretical knowledge demonstration allows two options: those with no significant experience in RNAV/RNP operations and approaches (in the UK denoted as RNAV(GNSS) approaches) are required to undergo training at an ATO with IR and PBN approvals, covering both the theoretical and practical aspects of PBN, completing the ATO element with a short written exam. Those with significant experience may choose to self declare an exemption from the ATO course, and complete the theoretical assessment by oral questioning during their IR revalidation or renewal.
Central Flight Training are approved to offer both theoretical and practical aspects of PBN training. The theoretical course lasts approximately half a day with a short written test to follow. All CFT staff are PBN approved Instructors and Examiners at Instrument Rating level, and are able to carry out the practical PBN assessment in either company SEP/MEP aircraft or a customer’s own aircraft. Training is available for individuals or companies, including Single Pilot AOC operators (training tailored to match company manuals as required).