NextGen--Understanding the Airport's Role in Performance-Based Navigation (PBN)

"NextGen" is an umbrella term for the ongoing transformation of the National Airspace System (NAS) and is a focus of an Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) NextGen initiative for FY 2014. This initiative encompasses five distinct projects, which will be conducted simultaneously. ACRP Project 03-34, which is included in this initiative, concentrates on the satellite-based navigational improvements of the overall program. ACRP will be coordinating and sharing scope, ideas, and preliminary results among all five projects that include the following: (1) ACRP Project 01-27, NextGen--A Primer; (2) ACRP Project 01-28, NextGen--Guidance for Engaging Airport Stakeholders; (3) ACRP Project 03-33, NextGen--Airport Planning and Development; (4) ACRP Project 03-34, NextGen--Understanding the Airport's Role in Performance-Based Navigation (PBN); and (5) ACRP Project 09-12, NextGen--Leveraging NextGen Spatial Data to Benefit Airports. The term NextGen has usually been applied to any emerging method or technology that is expected or intended to supersede present-day ground-based airspace navigation systems. For the ACRP NextGen initiative, a focused definition is desired. So, the term "NextGen" shall refer to a number of federal programs (predominately airspace, air traffic, or avionics related) that are designed to modernize the NAS. Aspects of some of these programs, or the enabling practices, data, and technologies resulting from them, will affect airports and change how they operate. Some of the known or anticipated airport-relevant effects that are expected from NextGen include the following: (1) Safety-situational/proximity awareness, incident recovery; (2) Efficiency-aircraft fuel savings, airspace utilization, landside operations and performance, airside operations and maintenance; (3) Environment-emissions reductions, noise distribution; (4) Reliability-consistency in practice, international aircraft procedure/avionics standardization, improved access to airports; and (5) Planning/design-customer service, facility use, demands for infrastructure. Because of the technical nature of NextGen and the fact that much of the material previously produced has not been oriented toward airport operators, much about NextGen and how it will affect airport operations and planning may not be clear to the broader airport audience. Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) is a critical near-term component of the NextGen program. Design and implementation of PBN will have significance for airports of all sizes. Development of PBN procedures is currently underway, or will be underway shortly, in a number of communities. Involvement by airport operators is essential for successful implementation; and potential opportunities exist for realizing operational and environmental benefits as well as improvements to safety, reliability, and efficiencies of air services to the community. To maximize their productivity, airport operators need to have an understanding of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) design and implementation procedures, and have the means to identify and monitor metrics of expected benefits and impacts of these procedures so they can report back to their communities. To help implement that program, the aviation community needs comprehensive and understandable information concerning PBN, presented in a usable and accessible format--describing implementation requirements, related benefits, and potential costs. The objective of this research is to prepare a user-friendly "Airport PBN Resource Guide" that presents essential, relevant material for use by airport operators, planners, managers, and others. The guide should include background information, an overview of federal policy (including recent legislation), accurate measures of the trade-offs resulting from implementing PBN, and an identification of potential implications to stakeholders. Trade-off measures should encompass both quantitative and qualitative approaches to measure change in noise exposure, air quality, safety-related incidents, and other factors. In addition, the Airport PBN Resource Guide should describe practices and methods airport operators can use to work with their surrounding communities, the FAA, and other stakeholders in all phases of PBN development and implementation. The guide should address the following primary issues: (1) Safety enhancements; (2) Improved efficiency of operations at the airport and in the surrounding airspace; (3) Environmental outcomes, particularly relating to noise and emissions; and (4) Performance measures.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 03-34

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Goldstein, Lawrence

  • Performing Organizations:

    Saab Sensis Corporation

  • Principal Investigators:

    Timar, Sebastian

  • Start Date: 20140525
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160208
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37671

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01543761
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 03-34
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 21 2014 1:04AM