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Will The New PBCS Changes Affect You?

Performance Airspace | February 28, 2018

Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) offers incredible benefits to air navigation. ICAO is working hard to harmonize Performance-Based Communication Surveillance (PBCS) requirements globally. It has released a manual (ICAO Doc 9613) for all countries to use, but each country may implement PBCS changes at their own pace. Therefore, it is important for Operators to identify which changes are being planned and implemented in their respective State.

The North Atlantic (NAT) is in a multi-phase transition that includes new requirements for PBCS. The Asia-Pacific region will also adopt new rules.

Transport Canada

Transport Canada AC 700-041 and the associated Special Authorization (SA) for Required Communications Performance (RCP) 240 and Required Surveillance Performance (RSP) 180 was effective on January 31, 2017, which specifies that Canadian operators require approval to fly in PBCS airspace where decreased separations are applied. AC 700-041 is applicable to all operators holding an AOC that has been issued under Part VII of the CARs and to private operators holding a PORD under Subpart 604 who wish to benefit from these separation minima.

AC 700-041 states that:

The Performance-Based Communications and Surveillance (PBCS) provision applies RCP 240 and RSP 180 specifications to the application of 55.5 km (30 NM), 93 km (50 NM) and 5-minute longitudinal separation minima; and application of a 42.6 km (23 NM) lateral separation minimum (formerly 55.5 km (30 NM) lateral).”

ICAO Flight Plan

The proper information to denote PBCS capabilities is included in the ICAO flight plan as follows:

  1. In Item 10 of the flight plan, the aircraft operator shall insert “P2” to identify an aircraft’s RCP 240 capability; and
  2. In Item 18 of the flight plan, the aircraft operator shall file the RSP 180 capability by inserting the indicator “SUR/RSP 180”.

Starting March 29, 2018, ATC will base aircraft separation solely on these flight plan entries.

US Operators

It is important to note that these applications may affect Operators differently, and it’s important for the Operator to assess the differences. For example, SME Shawn Scott of ScottIPC identified that FAA Notice N8900.446 (Pose/Mspec/LOA A056, Data Link Communications) provides guidance on processing US A056 approvals for RCP and RSP, and that Operators may need to re-apply even if they already possess A056. Scott IPC provides a US approach to the solution here.

For Clients

The only thing our clients have to do is take our revised CPDLC course in conjunction with RNAV & RNP (a prerequisite), NAT HLA (also a prerequisite), ADS-C, and RNP-4. Most will already have these in their programs so they will just need to let us know to send them the revised CPDLC topic. This will meet the online training portion of the SA training requirements.

Performance-Based Navigation and Performance-Based Communications and Surveillance are globally affecting regions in different ways and at different rates. ICAO Doc 9613 provides the Operator with a glimpse of what is to come. will provide the training your Operation requires.

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