Airspace modernization and, in particular, the deployment of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) can improve the management of air traffic and help to ensure that the capacity demands of the flying public can continue to be met while reducing the industry's environmental footprint. While PBN can offer opportunities to mitigate the noise impacts associated with aircraft operations, through operating enhancements such as quieter Continuous Descent Operations (CDO), it can also alter community noise patterns surrounding airports.
The report Environmental Community Engagement for Performance-Based Navigation highlights the importance of effective community engagement and provides good practices that should be considered when undertaking airspace modernization. As a work item under the Committee for Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), the report was developed by garnering information from industry stakeholders as well as a detailed literature review and an assessment of ICAO State PBN Action Plans. It is intended to share and promote practices that have supported improved community understanding and effective airspace development. It serves as a reference point, complementing ICAO's Balanced Approach to Aircraft Noise Management, as the industry continues to modernize airspace in accordance with ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP) and Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBU).
As part of proper land-use planning and management, community engagement by airport operators and other aviation stakeholders is the key link between environmental stewardship and mitigating environmental constraints to aviation operation and growth. Recognizing the importance of community engagement, CAEP undertook a task in 2013 to collect case studies of airport outreach programmes around the world and developed an ICAO Circular in 2016 highlighting both lessons learned and good practices. The Circular, Community Engagement for Aviation Environmental Management, was developed to assist and encourage States and the aviation industry, in particular airports, airlines, and Air Navigation Service Providers, to engage local communities early in airport development projects to address environmental matters.