Performance-based navigation

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
  • more efficient take-offs and landings.

This means a reduction in fuel burn, aircraft emissions and airport and airspace congestion.

For more information, you can contact us.

Order a CNS/ATM resource kit for IFR operations.

Performance-based navigation specifications

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 – RNP 2
  • terminal procedures (SIDs and STARs) – RNP 1
  • non-precision instrument approach procedures (NPA) – RNP APCH are titled 'RNAV GNSS' on Australian approach charts[1]), with LNAV or LNAV/VNAV landing minima.
  • It's important to be aware an LNAV+V, LP+V, L/V or LPV (localiser performance with vertical guidance) navigation system provides 'advisory' vertical guidance only, and cannot be used for Baro-VNAV operations.
  • Approach procedure with Vertical Guidance (APV)
    • 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. The roll-out of Baro-VNAV in Australia is in line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommendations to establish safer approaches to landing.
    • From 2025, Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) enabled APV will be available with the implementation of the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SouthPAN). See Geoscience Australia for more information on the SouthPAN project.

Learn more in our PBN Regulations eLearning Module.

Navigation specifications

Our PBN legislation includes deeming provisions. This means aircraft equipped with particular types of standalone GNSS, or integrated avionics system using GNSS sensors, don't need to obtain an authorisation from us for some standard PBN navigation specifications.

For aircraft that do not meet the deeming provisions the owner/operator must apply to CASA for a navigation 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.

The Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) or Supplement should include each PBN specification (such as 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.

For some older aircraft, statements in the AFM or AFM Supplement declaring the aircraft is approved are acceptable. This applies to approvals for:

  • GPS RNAV EN ROUTE
  • GPS RNAV TERMINAL
  • GPS RNAV NON-PRECISION APPROACH
  • GPS RNAV LP or LPV operations.

Operating overseas

If you have an Australian registered aircraft and intend to operate overseas, you can download our Performance-based navigation advice for National Aviation Authorities. This is to demonstrate you meet the Australian regulatory requirements in case of a ramp check by a foreign National Aviation Authority.

Navigation authorisations for foreign operations

Australian aircraft operators wanting to operate in the North Atlantic high level airspace must apply to us for a NAT HLA approval, which is based on the NAT Doc 007 Manual. This manual permits suitably equipped and authorised aircraft to operate in the NAT HLA region.

Within Australian-administered airspace (Brisbane and Melbourne FIRs), when foreign registered operators are unable to declare RNP 1 and/or RNP 2 capability on their flight plans because their state of registry doesn’t have a process for including these specifications, they may request an exemption.

An exemption means they can operate in Australia using the PBN en-route continental and terminal procedures for 2 years. The request for exemption is under instrument CASA EX151/20 — RNP 1 and RNP 2 Alternate Means of Compliance (Foreign-registered Aircraft) Exemption 2020

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.

Other PBN navigation specifications (e.g. RNAV 1 and RNAV 2) can be included on the flight plan with flights being provided air traffic services in accordance with the flight planned navigation specification.

Transferring ownership of aircraft

Transferring or changing ownership of an aircraft automatically renders any navigation authorisations invalid. You must notify us of any change and request any required authorisations.

Navigation databases

Since navigation under PBN relies on area navigation, the aircraft navigation system must carry a navigation database. Under the requirements of Part 91 of CASR:

  • the database must be valid for the current AIRAC cycle
  • 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.

Installation notes

The following useful information about equipment installations has come to our attention:

  • 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.


[1] Chart naming conventions are to be changed to align with international practice per ICAO PBN Manual (Doc 9613) e.g. RNP APCH and RNP AR APCH charts will be renamed ‘RNP RWY XX’ or ‘RNP RWY XX (AR)’ respectively.

Last updated:
24 Feb 2022
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