FAA Delivers Roadmap for Capacity

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of
Transportation`s Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) today released
a “roadmap” that will allow the
development of air traffic procedures
pilots can use with on-board technology
to navigate to any point in the world
using only geographic coordinates.

“With its high degree of precision,
Required Navigation Performance - or
RNP - allows us to fly more planes,
more closely and more safely than ever
before,” said FAA Administrator Marion

RNP and area navigation (RNAV) are
navigation capabilities that take
advantage of an aircraft`s on-board
technology to fly a more accurate and
predictable flight path to and from an
airport, increasing navigation accuracy
and flight path predictability.

RNP and RNAV airspace and procedures,
coupled with increasing aircraft fleet
usage of the Global Positioning System,
will form the foundation for moving
towards a satellite-based air traffic
management system in the United States
within two decades.

The FAA will work collaboratively with
the aviation community to implement
these procedures and to provide near-
term operational benefits for
users. “As air transportation growth
resumes in the next few years, RNP will
help prepare the FAA and industry to
meet increased demand and improve
efficiency,” Blakey said.


The RNP Roadmap, which the FAA
delivered within a year, identifies
steps and milestones that will
transition the U.S. airspace system
from today`s reliance on airways
running over ground-based navigation
aids to a point-to-point navigation
concept that takes maximum advantage of
advanced automation capabilities.
aboard aircraft.

The plan, which will be updated
regularly, has a 2003 to 2020 timetable
divided into three implementation

—Near-Term (2003-2006). The FAA and
industry implement a first set of RNP
and RNAV procedures in all phases of
flight. The agency also will continue
to develop criteria and guidance for
more advanced RNP/RNAV operations.

—Mid-Term (2007-2012). RNAV becomes
the primary means of navigation in U.S.
airspace. Additional RNP procedures
become available as more aircraft are
equipped with advanced technologies.
The FAA begins to remove some ground-
based navigation aids, routes and
procedures from service starting in

—Far-Term (2013-2020). Based on
previous demonstration of RNP/RNAV
benefits, the U.S. aircraft fleet
continues to modernize with advanced
capabilities. By 2020, operators use
RNP and RNAV procedures operationally
in all areas. A minimal operational
network of ground-based navigation aids
remains in place. 

The FAA has established a program
office responsible for the
implementation of RNP, led by Jeff
Williams of the FAA`s Air Traffic
Service. This new office will
coordinate a variety of functions
across the FAA for standards, criteria,
procedures and airspace design needed
for successful RNP. 

The new program office also will build
on the recent RNAV procedures at some
of the nation’s busiest locations and
will integrate a number of related
initiatives that are already underway,
including the redesign of the high
altitude airspace structure. These new
initiatives will augment current
activities to relieve choke points,
resulting in increased efficiency and
capacity in the national airspace

The complete RNP/RNP Roadmap with
details of implementation can be found
at: www.atca.org .