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Airport noise and performance based navigation: A force for good or evil?

02.11.2019 | Mary Ellen Eagan |

The global aviation system is in the midst of modernisation. This includes a transition to satellite-based navigation, which offers opportunities for improved safety, efficiency and predictability. This paper posits that — despite some false starts — performance-based navigation (PBN) also offers opportunities to address noise problems. PBN relies on satellites for navigation, rather than ground-based navigational aids. The improved precision of PBN routes generally results in concentration of flights into narrow corridors. When implemented without consideration of community impacts, it has resulted in significant community outcry (even lawsuits), but when implemented with care, it can offer potential to avoid noise-sensitive areas. Our experience shows that the most successful projects are those in which the airport has been fully engaged and in which there is extensive and meaningful collaboration between all stakeholders: air navigation service providers (ANSP), industry (including airlines and other operators), airports and communities. Participants should not expect this to be easy — it is a lengthy and expensive process — but one that may be necessary for long-term compatibility and for airport growth. This paper provides an overview of PBN development in the USA as well as case studies of implementation of PBN at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (AZ), Oakland International Airport (CA) and Boston Logan International Airport (MA). The case studies illustrate the increasing collaboration between stakeholders and show that progress can be made.

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This article was first published by the Journal of Airport Management. Click here to view the full article >>

About the Author

Mary Ellen Eagan

President & CEO

As President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of HMMH, Mary Ellen is responsible for providing strategic, innovative leadership…

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