Performance-based communications and surveillance

Communication has evolved with satellite-based technology. Find out about changing ground-to-aircraft and aircraft-to-aircraft communications systems.

Common regional virtual network

Work is underway to establish a common regional virtual private network (CRV) in the Asia/Pacific region. This is for improved ground-to-ground communications.

This is an internet protocol-based network. It will provide a solution that is more:

  • cost effective
  • flexible
  • advanced.

It will also overcome limitations with the current system of multiple point-to-point connections for the air traffic service message handling system (AMHS).

Performance-based communications and surveillance

Required communication performance (RCP) and required surveillance performance (RSP) specifications can now be applied along with required navigation performance (RNP) specifications in some international airspace for certain separation standards.

RCP 240 and RSP 180 relate to the:

  • satellite-based systems controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC)
  • automatic dependent surveillance–contract (ADS-C).

Performance-based communications and surveillance (PBCS) routes have been implemented on some routes in the North Atlantic and Asia-Pacific regions. They may apply to Australian airspace in the future, where CPDLC and ADS-C are used.

Aircraft operating in international airspace where PBCS routes exist may need authorisation from either their:

  • state of registry
  • state of operator.

Part 91 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) 1998 and Chapter 11.09 of the Part 91 Manual of Standards (MOS) describe the aircraft equipment, documentation and personnel training required for an operator to declare their RCP 240 and RSP 180 capability. For more information, read Advisory Circular: 

AC 91-06 Performance-based communication and surveillance (PBCS) (PDF, 464.6 KB)


Once the operator has confirmed the aircraft’s avionics, documentation and personnel training is compliant for PBCS operations, no further documentation from CASA is required. RCP 240 and RSP 180 descriptors must also be included in the flight plan.

Datalink communications

Other emerging communications technology is expected to enable greater use of datalink communications. This is in lieu of the legacy VHF and HF voice communication systems. However, for most operations the primary means of communications will continue to be VHF and HF voice.


Last updated:
4 Jan 2022
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