Strategic Objective — Air Navigation Capacity and Efficiency — Global Air Navigation Priorities

Global Air Navigation Priorities



Emergency Response

Other Activities

Technical Cooperation and Assistance Projects (TCB)



Global Air Navigation Priorities


Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP)


The 2014-2016 Global Air Navigation Plan, endorsed by the 38th Session of the Assembly, is being implemented as a high-level policy document on air navigation capacity and efficiency as well as a planning and implementation document for use at the global, regional and State levels.


The current GANP introduces the concept and content for the aviation system block upgrades (ASBUs) and provides for specific priorities in the areas of Performance-based Navigation (PBN), Continuous Climb Operations (CCO) and Continuous Descent Operations (CDO).


An update of the GANP is currently under review by States. It focuses on some course corrections on the current ASBUs with an adjustment of their dates to allow better synchronization between Sessions of the ICAO Assembly and the amendment cycles. Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) in congested airspace is being proposed as one of the key priorities for the next triennium.


Performance-based Navigation (PBN)


Flight Procedures Programme (FPP) Update


An Asia-Pacific FPP Steering Committee meeting was held in Macao (Special Administrative Region), China from
11-13 November. The topics covered at this meeting were: the seven flight procedure design-related courses conducted in 2015; the advice provided to States on procedure design and validation; and the PBN procedure design implementation projects completed for two States. The meeting agreed on the 2016 work programme and tentatively agreed that the duration of Phase III of the programme should be three years.


The African FPP Steering Committee meeting, held on 20 October, determined that PBN implementation assistance should be undertaken according to the following priorities: accident rate record; level of aviation activity; and user demand. Membership in the African FPP expanded to 24 active participating States and two user States. Assistance was provided to four States and instrument procedure design projects were completed for two States. The strategic plan for upcoming years was approved, and a task force was set up to determine the scope for Phase II of the programme.


Building on the success of the African and the Asia-Pacific FPPs, a proposal is under way to establish an FPP under the umbrella of the Middle-East ATM Enhancement Programme (MAEP). The second MAEP Steering Committee meeting held in Cairo, on 18-19 October, decided on an estimated start of operations of 1 July 2016 with a proposed duration of three years.


PBN Procedure and Airspace Design


New ICAO provisions have been developed to promote the integration of PBN into conventional airspace through new types of operations that seek to improve cost-effectiveness, environmental impact and airport accessibility. The procedure design criteria allow for transition from Area Navigation (RNAV) or required navigation performance (RNP) to Instrument Landing System/Microwave Landing System/Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) Landing System (ILS/MLS/GLS) intermediate segments and transition from ILS/MLS/GLS to RNAV or RNP missed approach. This may encourage the implementation of PBN where ground infrastructure is already in place, and it allows for an optimized use of the airspace and contributes to improved safety through enhanced standardization.


The current ICAO provisions do not adequately address State responsibilities for instrument procedure design service. New Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) have been developed which define these responsibilities. The introduction of these requirements will facilitate an effective safety oversight of flight procedure design, related documentation and the periodic reviews of flight procedures necessary for the safety, regularity and efficiency of air navigation.


A PBN airspace design course was held in Dakar on 9-13 November with the support of the African FPP, attended by approximately 40 participants from 13 States and the Western and Central African (WACAF) Regional Office. Participants learned to work collaboratively as a team on the design of Terminal Area (TMA) and en-route airspace.


Regulatory Oversight for PBN


A new version of the PBN Operational Approval Manual (Doc 9997) was published in 2015, including guidance for navigation specifications and functions that were updated in the Fourth Edition of the Performance-based Navigation (PBN) Manual (Doc 9613). The next edition of Doc 9997, currently in development, will include guidance on the recent change to operations (OPS) approvals removing the need for an OPS specification for all but RNP authorization-required (AR) operations.


As an essential step in developing PBN regulatory knowledge in the AFI Region, the PBN OPS approval course was attended by 32 participants representing nine States and eight operators. As well as providing useful information on how to conduct approvals, the course was a chance for the participants to meet and pave the way for them to work collaboratively in the future on PBN implementation in the region.


The Second High-level Safety Conference (HLSC 2015) identified a lack of effective regulatory oversight as a significant issue for PBN. The Conference tasked the PBN Programme to develop guidance on how regulators should oversee PBN operations in order to improve the safe implementation of PBN. This work is currently under way.


Aviation Frequency Spectrum — Outcomes of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15)


Radio frequency spectrum is a finite and limited resource managed by the ITU through its World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRCs) held every four years. The availability of the necessary radio frequency spectrum is a critical prerequisite for the safety of civil aviation and the effective implementation of the communications, navigation and surveillance/air traffic management (CNS/ATM) systems. As demand for radio spectrum from non-aviation users keeps growing, aviation faces ever-increasing competition for the limited available spectrum.


WRC-15 took place in Geneva on 2-27 November. Positive results were achieved for aviation, fully satisfying the ICAO Position, protecting existing aeronautical safety services as well as gaining access to spectrum for new services. The essential elements contributing to this successful outcome were the timely development and coordination of the ICAO Position with all ICAO Member States in preparation for the conference, the active participation by ICAO experts in WRC-15 preparatory work of the ITU and regional telecommunication organizations, civil aviation representation in the delegations of States’ spectrum administrators, and the active participation of the ICAO delegation at the conference itself.


Outcomes of special note include:  



​a new frequency allocation for space-based reception of automatic dependent surveillance — broadcast (ADS-B), enabling tracking of aircraft globally, including over remote and polar regions;


• ​

​full protection of primary surveillance radar spectrum and of the frequency band used by aeronautical radio altimeters;



​better regulatory protection of Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) links used in Africa to provide terrestrial aeronautical and meteorological communications networks;



​new regulatory spectrum provisions related to the use of FSS spectrum for the command and control link for remotely piloted aircraft;



​increased regulatory protection for the COSPAS-SARSAT system;



​a new frequency allocation for wireless avionics intra communications, a potential enabler for safer and more fuel-efficient aircraft designs; and


​• ​an agenda item for the next conference, WRC-19, supporting the development of the Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS).


Air traffic flow management (ATFM)


Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) is a major enabler of safety and enhanced efficiency. ICAO has engaged in a significant effort to raise the awareness of States to the importance of ATFM around the world.


Building on the success of that effort, the Organization has now established and implemented a strategy to ensure that the current individual nodes of ATFM progressively evolve into a network of inter-related nodes. The strategy entails production and maintenance of guidance material at both the global and regional level.


Another component of the strategy is direct assistance to States. This has led to the organization of a series of workshops organized by ICAO’s Regional Offices and at the global level, and entails planning for an ICAO ATFM Global Forum to be held every two years. The next ATFM Global Forum is scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates in November 2016.


Collaborative decision-making (CDM) is key to the success of ATFM as it secures the involvement of the appropriate en-route and airport stakeholders. ICAO has therefore, in parallel with the support to ATFM, engaged in providing enhanced CDM guidance material and training to its Member States. Training seminars have been organized with Regional Offices, and specific guidance material has been prepared to foster implementation worldwide.

Connect with us: