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Ep.7 – PBN Practical not Theoretical (For Maintenance, Pilots, and Dispatchers)

Podcast | February 27, 2019

Author: Brent Fishlock

WHY is PBN training important?

PBN is constantly changing worldwide. Your flight planning codes must be 100% correct or you will be pushed out of the North Atlantic PBCS tracks. This is already happening.

Air Routes are being changed to PBN routes at different rates in different countries, as we’ve seen in India. I read this past week that new “Y” routes offshore from the coast of Florida are now RNAV 2 required.

So this brings up a question… Does your aircraft know what the required navigation value is wherever you are flying at all times? My experience is ‘YES’ and ‘NO.’ If you fly from major city to major city across land, then probably ‘YES,’ since the RNP values are pretty standard for now. RNP 1 within 30 NM of the airports and usually RNP 2 enroute. But if you are flying oceanic routes or close to oceanic routes, the PBN in these areas are changing and are also difficult to find.

It’s always important to know your aircraft systems, of course. If your aircraft automatically selects a higher containment value than the airspace allows, then that could be an issue.

Here’s an example:

I fly through the Gulf of Mexico a lot, and this is referred to as GOMEX airspace. GOMEX airspace is RNP 10, but this is very difficult to find on any chart or navigation manual. The requirement can be found in the FAA’s AIP Enroute section. At the edges of the GOMEX airspace, the aircraft I fly sometimes sets RNP 12 automatically IF the crew has not set RNP 10 on purpose. So what we have is a possible scenario where the aircraft drifts more than 10 miles in an airspace that has a 10 mile containment rule, but the crew is not alerted. In this case, the crew will not be alerted until the actual navigation value exceeds 12, not 10. Also, these areas have spotty radar coverage. Or none at all.

Unlike enroute charts for GOMEX airspace, RNAV SIDS and STARs publish the required value in the notes section of the chart. RNP approaches publish RNP minima in the minima box of the chart.

The take-away here is that you should know the RNP value where you fly and verify the aircraft is maintaining that value. That value may not be available to you in the cockpit, as in, it’s not on a chart or in a manual on your EFB. You may have to know this information prior to departure.

As always, refer to your company and aircraft manuals for your specific approvals and aircraft requirements.

At, we are hoping that one day soon podcasts like this will count towards your training requirement. Listen to the podcast to get the full story.


TC AC No. 700-023, Issue 01

TC AC No. 700-025

FAA AC No: 90-105A

FAA AC No: 90-100A

AIM India: AIP Supplement 148/2018

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