Performance Reporting Capabilities
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Arrivals with Optimized Profile Descent
Standard terminal arrivals with an optimized profile descent are a type of Performance Based Navigation procedure. Aircraft can continuously descend from cruising altitude until close to the airport instead of descending and leveling off multiple times. These procedures decrease fuel consumption, emissions, and noise because pilots can stay at higher, more fuel-efficient altitudes closer to the airport, and avoid adjusting the thrust lever and applying the speed brakes at each lower altitude.
- NextGen Flight 101 - Surface/Departures (Video, 1:26)
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out and In
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is a technology that determines an aircraft's position via GPS satellites instead of radar and transmits it every second to air traffic controllers, enabling accurate and reliable tracking. Aircraft flying in most U.S. airspace served by air traffic control must be equipped with an ADS-B transponder to send a signal (ADS-B Out). Aircraft also can be equipped with an ADS-B receiver (ADS-B In). Both can improve safety, efficiency, and capacity.
Controller Pilot Data Link Communications
Controller Pilot Data Link Communications enables pilots in equipped aircraft and controllers to quickly exchange text-like messages to supplement voice communications. It increases pilot and controller productivity and reduces delays.
Converging Runway Display Aid
While intersecting runways cross each other on the ground, converging runways meet in the air. The Converging Runway Display Aid (CRDA) is an automated sequencing tool that visually guides tower controllers to space two airplanes when they are more than 1.5 miles apart from the intersection point in the sky. The CRDA calculates a safe gap between arriving and departing aircraft, and improves the use of existing capacity.
- Safety Study Report for Dependent Converging Instrument Approaches with Converging Runway Display Aid
En Route Departure Capability
Controllers use the En Route Departure Capability (EDC), a Time Based Flow Management tool, to determine how long to delay a flight departure and where to fit the aircraft into the overhead stream of traffic. EDC also assists with managing a miles-in-trail restriction, when controllers require extra spacing between flights to handle congestion in another part of the country. EDC improves efficiency and use of existing capacity.
Equivalent Lateral Spacing Operations
Equivalent Lateral Spacing Operations is a national separation standard made possible by the precision of Performance Based Navigation departure procedures. Controllers can safely reduce the separation angle and space flight paths closer together, which opens a new path. Capacity increases as more aircraft can take off from the same runway during the same time period.
Established on Required Navigation Performance
Established on Required Navigation Performance (EoR) is a separation standard taking advantage of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) approach procedures at certain airports with widely spaced parallel runways. When aircraft approach the runway from the opposite direction of their landing, they can turn sooner to line up with the runway. EoR increases PBN use and its benefits, including shorter travel distances and flight time.
- Performance Based Navigation Implementation and Usage
- Established on Required Navigation Performance at Denver International Airport (Video, 1:00)
Expanded Low Visibility Operations
Expanded Low Visibility Operations (ELVO) involve the phases of flight from the gate to takeoff and from the final distance to the runway to the gate. Access and capacity can increase when aircraft are equipped with enhanced or synthetic vision systems to help pilots fly when the view out the window is limited. Most ELVO improvements result from FAA Order 8400.13, Procedures for the Evaluation and Approval of Facilities for Special Authorization Category I Operations and All Category II and III Operations.
External Surface Data Release
External surface data release improves data coordination and communications at the airport among aircraft operators and the FAA for increased flexibility, efficiency, and capacity. Data ingested into FAA traffic flow automation may originate from FAA surface surveillance systems and airlines that produce information, such as estimated and actual times for gate departure and takeoff.
Initial Tailored Arrivals
Tailored arrivals (TA) are a concept for enabling continuous descents of transcontinental and oceanic flights in congested airspace by integrating advanced air and ground automation through a data link. TA flight paths are customized to each aircraft to permit a fuel-efficient, low-noise descent profile to assist with separation while complying with arrival sequencing requirements and other airspace constraints.
Integrated Departure/Arrival Capability
Integrated Departure/Arrival Capability is a Time Based Flow Management tool that automates departure demand monitoring and slot identification. It coordinates departure times between airports and informs air traffic control towers so they can select from available departure times and plan their operation to meet those times. These enhancements result in more efficient departure flows and fewer delays.
A metroplex is a metropolitan area with multiple airports and complicated air traffic flows. The Metroplex program de-conflicted the airspace and optimized traffic flow at 11 locations across the nation by implementing new Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures. PBN at metroplexes saves fuel and reduces emissions.
Northeast Corridor Escape Routes
Expanded use of Northeast Corridor (NEC) escape routes is intended to allow more departures from key NEC airports during convective weather, which can produce thunderstorms and high winds. An expanded use of the escape route structure takes advantage of lightly used airspace to improve departure throughput.
Performance Based Navigation routes
The FAA is canceling high- and low-altitude routes that rely on ground-based navigation aids while introducing satellite-enabled Performance Based Navigation (PBN) routes for use by equipped aircraft. T-Routes are replacing many Victor routes for airspace from 1,200 feet above ground to 18,000 feet mean sea level. Q-Routes are replacing many Jet routes from 18,000 to 45,000 feet mean sea level. PBN routes are flexible and can shorten flight distances, which decreases fuel consumption and emissions.
Required Navigation Performance approaches
Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approach procedures are a type of Performance Based Navigation for the final leg of flight before landing. RNAV (GPS) procedures are flown by aircraft equipped with a GPS receiver or GPS enhanced by the Wide Area Augmentation System. RNAV (RNP) procedures also are satellite-enabled but require aircraft to have an onboard performance monitoring and alerting capability. Aircraft can navigate a flight path with more precision and accuracy with RNP compared to ground-based navigation aids. RNP approach procedures increase efficiency and capacity.
- Satellite Navigation - NAS Implementation
- Performance Based Navigation Implementation and Usage
- Fact Sheet
- PBN NAS Navigation Strategy 2016
Simultaneous Converging Instrument Approaches
Simultaneous Converging Instrument Approaches (SCIA) are an air traffic control procedure. They allow two staggered streams of aircraft flying under instrument flight rules to land on a runway when the extended runway centerline intersects in the air within 1 mile of another extended runway centerline. Staggered arrivals assure adequate separation between aircraft in the event of consecutive missed approaches. Unlike with visual flight rules, SCIA allows the height at which the pilot decides to land or go around to fall as low as 200 feet, yielding arrival capacity improvements compared to single runway operations.
Simultaneous Dependent Approaches
FAA Joint Order 7110.308 covers simultaneous dependent approaches at airports with closely spaced parallel runways. These runways have centerlines separated by less than 2,500 feet and are called dependent because the aircraft must maintain a minimum diagonal separation. At some airports, the minimum stagger separation was reduced from 1.5 nautical miles (nm) to 1.0 nm. The benefits are increased capacity and reduced arrival delays.
Surface Situational Awareness
Air traffic control facilities across the country share surface situational awareness to improve traffic flow management. Two sources of surface conditions at busy locations are the Airport Surface Detection Equipment-X and Airport Surface Surveillance Capability, which monitor the movement of aircraft and ground vehicles. Data from these systems are sent through System Wide Information Management to air traffic control decision support systems to help controllers decide the best course of action for efficient traffic flow.
Surface Visualization Tool
The Surface Visualization Tool (SVT) increases situational awareness of airport ground activity. Controllers at terminal radar approach control facilities can identify departure congestion and anticipate changes as if they were in a tower. Surface information from ground surveillance systems is distributed through the System Wide Information Management Terminal Data Distribution System. The SVT capability will become part of the upcoming Terminal Flight Data Manager to enhance collaborative decision-making on the surface and make flights more efficient from gate to gate.
Time Based Flow Management
Time Based Flow Management is an air traffic control decision support system that uses time instead of distance to schedule, merge, space, and sequence aircraft. It evolved from the legacy Traffic Management Advisor and consists of automated tools to help manage departures and arrivals. Controllers can better space aircraft to redistribute necessary delays to the more efficient en route phase of flight.
Triple parallel runway operations
Triple simultaneous parallel independent runway operations are available at several large busy airports. These runways are spaced at least 3,900 feet apart, and aircraft do not need to maintain the minimum diagonal separation required of dependent runways. Operating multiple runways at the same time increases the number of aircraft that can take off and land, increasing capacity.
Wake recategorization is a policy that allows controllers to safely decrease the required separation between specific aircraft pairs to increase airport capacity and efficiency.
- Wake Recategorization (Wake Recat) (Video, 1:34)