Airport and air navigation sectors provide best-practice PBN guidance for aircraft noise management
Fri 28 Feb 2020 – Airports and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) have partnered to launch new guidance material on Performance Based Navigation (PBN), an advanced, satellite-enabled form of air navigation that enables aircraft to fly a precise vertical and lateral flight path. PBN offers enhanced safety, increased operational efficiency, reduced cost and a reduction in carbon emissions. However, because of the precise flight paths, PBN concentrates aircraft noise, which can bring benefits to some local communities around airports and adverse impacts to others. The new guidance addresses these benefits and challenges, as well as noise management options, stakeholder responsibilities, public engagement and PBN implementation case studies. Meanwhile, Europe’s air navigation and safety organisation Eurocontrol has joined with airports to launch a new initiative for more sustainable airport operations.
The new PBN guidance is a collaboration between trade bodies Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), which represents ANSPs, and Airports Council International (ACI) World. The material, ‘Use of Performance Based Navigation for Noise Management’, has been developed by CANSO’s Performance-based Navigation Workgroup and international contributors from ACI.
The guidance material explores the role of PBN’s operational improvements in reducing aircraft noise and emissions and demonstrates best practice. It is also applicable to non-PBN influenced flight path changes and highlights the important role of stakeholder consultation and collaboration.
The CANSO PBN Workgroup activities also help States develop and implement PBN. It has identified current and future PBN-related technologies and their operational application. This assists ANSP members in preparing for the future PBN environment, including earmarking resources, identifying requirements for collaboration, and allocating funding.
By implementing PBN routes, many States have been able to reduce track-mileage flown in all phases of flight and PBN can significantly improve climb and descent operations, says the guidance document. As an example, the introduction of new approach procedures at multiple airports in Canada are forecast to reduce GHG emissions by 367,000 tonnes by 2020.
But, it adds, there are challenges associated with PBN implementation, including the availability of necessary aircraft avionics equipage, redundancy, regulatory frameworks and community reaction to changes. “The challenges are as important to understand as the benefits to maximise the chances of success for any project,” it cautions.
PBN can benefit communities if, given appropriate geography and airspace capacity, the concentration of routes can be used to reduce overflight of residential areas, or provide respite based on community feedback, says the document.
“Managing aviation-related noise and emissions is a complex issue and requires the whole aviation industry to work together to improve performance, from aircraft design, trajectory and speed, to optimal flight routing and seamless ground-to-air operations,” commented CANSO Director General, Simon Hocquard. “For its part, air traffic management is helping to optimise the use of airspace and ensure safe, efficient and effective airborne operations by championing the latest best practice and technologies. CANSO is honoured to work alongside ACI in determining how ANSPs can further support efficient operations for airports, airline operators and States, and ensure we are socially and environmentally responsible in everything we do.”
ACI World’s Director General, Angela Gittens, said: “If our industry is to grow while continuing to manage and minimise its impact then effective collaboration and stakeholder engagement is key. ACI welcomed the opportunity to work with CANSO on creating guidance for our members in implementing measures to improve efficiency and safety while also reducing aviation-related noise and emissions, and, importantly, creating dialogue with the noise-affected communities surrounding our airports to explain those improvements.”
Speaking at the Digitally Connected Airports conference in Brussels organised by Eurocontrol and ACI Europe, Eurocontrol’s Director General, Eamonn Brennan, called for cooperation between all parts of the aviation industry to deal with capacity issues at European airports.
“We need to be able to meet future demand through sustainable operations and we need airports to be fully connected with the rest of the European network,” he said. “To achieve that, we need to integrate them digitally with the Eurocontrol Network Manager. Eurocontrol, ACI Europe and SESAR JU, along with airports, airlines, ANSPs and manufacturers, are now working together on this challenge to help meet the European Green Deal, whilst enabling airports to expand in the years ahead.”
Brennan said they would collaborate and develop “innovative sustainable airport solutions” that can be deployed by all airports across Europe by 2023.
“With air traffic predicted to grow by around 48% in the coming 20 years, it is crucially important that we harness the potential of digital connectivity to drive performance and change at airports and to enable an integrated European ATM network,” he said.