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Air navigation in continental airspace has transitioned from conventional ground-based radio navigation aids to performance-based navigation (PBN). The shift to PBN enables more direct routes along a flight path and more efficient take-offs and landings. Overall, this means a reduction in fuel burn, aircraft emissions and airport and airspace congestion.
Where available, ATS routes, terminal procedures and instrument approach procedures should be flown to the following standard PBN navigation specifications:
- Routes in oceanic control area (OCA) – RNP 4 where capable, otherwise RNAV 10 (RNP 10)
- Continental routes (routes other than those in OCA) – RNP 2
- Terminal procedures (SIDs and STARs) – RNP 1
- RNAV non-precision instrument approach procedures (NPA) and approach procedure with vertical guidance (APV) – RNP APCH (still titled 'RNAV GNSS' on Australian approach charts), with LNAV or LNAV/VNAV landing minima.
For aircraft fitted with navigation systems certified for Baro-VNAV approach operations, PBN has also enabled the addition of actual (as opposed to advisory) vertical guidance derived from barometric sources, permitting the use of LNAV/VNAV landing minima.
It's important to be aware an LNAV+V, LP+V, L/V or LPV (lateral precision with vertical guidance) navigation system provides 'advisory' vertical guidance only, and cannot be used for Baro-VNAV operations.
The roll-out of Baro-VNAV in Australia is in line with ICAO recommendations to establish safer approaches to landing.
Learn more in our PBN Regulations eLearning Module.
Order a CNS/ATM resource kit for IFR operations.
Satellite based augmentation system trial
Australia is trialling a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) and the 2018-19 federal budget included funds to support the development of SBAS. The SBAS signal is not yet available for aircraft fitted with SBAS or WAAS capable avionics.
SBAS enabled avionics are different to GBAS and Baro-VNAV capable avionics and cannot be used interchangeably.
Further information on the SBAS project is available on the Geoscience website.
Applying for a navigation authorisation
To operate according to a standard PBN navigation specification, you will need to make sure your aircraft is certified for the operation and you have an operational approval.
Checking your aircraft’s certification
Your aircraft’s navigation equipment may be marked as certified to a technical standard order (TSO) capable of PBN operations (see ‘deeming provisions’).
The Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) or Supplement should include each PBN specification (e.g. RNP 2, RNP 1 or RNP APCH) for which the aircraft has an airworthiness approval. If unsure, you may need to check with the manufacturer. Note that for some older aircraft, statements in the AFM or AFM Supplement declaring the aircraft is approved for GPS RNAV EN ROUTE, GPS RNAV TERMINAL, GPS RNAV NON-PRECISION APPROACH and GPS RNAV LP or LPV operations are acceptable.
Obtaining an operational approval
CASA’s navigation equipment legislation includes deeming provisions, meaning aircraft equipped with particular types of standalone GNSS systems do not need to obtain an authorisation from CASA for some standard PBN navigation specifications.
Aircraft that do not meet the deeming provisions must apply to CASA for a navigation approval.
Important notes for deeming provisions
- The deeming provisions are valid only for pilots with the relevant instrument rating authorisations and GNSS endorsements.
- The deeming provisions apply only for Australian registered aircraft for domestic operations. For foreign registered aircraft or international operations, contact email@example.com
- If you have an Australian registered aircraft and you are intending to operate overseas, you may need to lodge a navigation authorisation form with CASA declaring you meet the deeming provisions in case of a ramp check by a foreign NAA.
Navigation authorisations for foreign operations
North Atlantic high level airspace operations
Aircraft operators wanting to operate in the North Atlantic high level airspace must apply to CASA for an RNP 10 or RNP 4 navigation authorisation. Details of the requirements for these operations are in the North Atlantic HLA Airspace operations manual. The manual permits suitably equipped and authorised aircraft to use SATVOICE in the NAT HLA region.
Foreign operators without an RNP 1 or RNP 2 approval
Where foreign operators are unable to obtain RNP 1 and/or RNP 2 authorisations from their state of registry because a process for these authorisations isn’t established, they may request an exemption under exemption instrument EX158/17 to operate in Australia using the PBN en-route continental and terminal procedures for a period of two years.
All flights operating in accordance with the exemption will be required to enter RMK/CASA RNP AMC in item 18 of the flight plan for each flight. The flight plan entries should be used as soon as available.
All other PBN navigation specifications on the flight plan are also permitted to be conducted according to the operating requirements specified.
Lost, damaged or invalid authorisation certificates
Transferring or changing ownership of an aircraft automatically renders any navigation authorisations invalid. You need to notify CASA of any such change.
If you lose or damage a certificate for a navigation authorisation, you can request a replacement.
Since navigation under PBN relies on area navigation, the aircraft navigation system must carry a navigation database. Under the requirements of the CAO:
- the database must be valid for the current AIRAC cycle (refer to CAO 20.91 and AIP GEN 3.1 4 for further information)
- all terminal routes (SIDs, STARs and approaches) must be loaded from the database and may not be modified by the pilot.
- If conducting RNP APCH, Baro-VNAV, Advanced RNP, RNP 0.3 or RNP AR approach operations, operators must obtain their navigation databases from suppliers holding a Type 2 LOA.
The following items concerning installations have come to CASA’s attention and operators need to be aware of them:
- Some older (E)TSO C129 GPS systems will not meet the requirements for ADS-B. Later versions that incorporate FDE and HPL features may meet the requirements.
- Aircraft for sale in the US are advertised as having ADS-B; buyers need to ensure that the ADS-B in such aircraft uses the Mode S transponder with Extended Squitter (commonly referred to as 1090 MHz Extended Squitter). Many aircraft in the US have ADS-B through the use of Universal Access Transceivers (UAT) – these will not work in Australia.
- Modern electronic display systems and other avionics systems have micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) inertial sensors fitted. To function correctly, these systems often need either GNSS or pitot-static inputs (or both). When installing modern equipment, installers need to install systems in accordance with the manufacturer’s Installation Manual and include all relevant interfaces.
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