Performance-Based Navigation (PBN)

Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) is a term used to describe the broad range of technologies that are moving aviation away from a ground-based navigation system toward a system that relies more on the performance and capabilities of equipment on board the aircraft.

It involves a major shift from conventional ground-based navigation aids and procedures to satellite-based navigation aids and area navigation procedures, which are more accurate and allow for shorter, more direct routes between two given points as well as more efficient takeoffs and landings.

This reduces fuel burn, airport and airspace congestion, and aircraft emissions.

In 2007 the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) passed a General Assembly resolution that calls on States to complete an implementation plan for PBN by 2009.

New Zealand is proactively implementing PBN at most of its international airports and already has some of the most efficient air navigation procedures in the world. These procedures have delivered significant fuel burn and emission reductions for scheduled passenger operators. The CAA is taking a number of steps to meet the ICAO resolution by 2009.

The government agreed in August 2011 to the development of a National Airspace Policy and a National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan, which in early 2014 became the New Southern Sky programme. The implementation of PBN is a key component of New Southern Sky..

ICAO has produced a set of online resources on PBN, including training materials and the 'PBN iKit'. These resources can be accessed on the ICAO web site.

Operators and Pilots – Important Information

Advisory Circular AC91-21 is draft only. Please note, the following:

  • Legacy IFR GNSS approvals may continue to be operated. The 13 Nov 2014 deadline does not apply.
  • The restrictions described regarding the use of legacy IFR GNSS approvals still apply.
  • Legacy IFR GNSS approvals will continue to be issued.

The CAA is working on PBN implementation as part of New Southern Sky.

In 2015, operators and pilots will be encouraged to contribute to the development of PBN implementation, with consultation on standards, equipment and operating procedures. Once the new standards are in place, some operators may need to upgrade equipment and develop new procedures so they can continue using PBN routes. The CAA will advise when and how you can have your say in 2015.

Subscribe to our Email Notification Service to receive updates - check the PBN box. If you are already a subscriber, use this link to view or change the lists you have subscribed to.

If you are planning to upgrade your navigation equipment, or if you are unsure what your existing approval allows, contact the the CAA Aerospace Programmes Unit for advice, email:


ICAO Asia-Pacific Performance Based Navigation (PBN) Implementation Seminar Feb 2010

ICAO as part of promoting PBN knowledge sharing and to facilitate PBN implementation organized a two-day seminar on PBN implementation. The PBN Implementation Seminar was hosted by the Civil Aviation Department, Hong Kong, China (CAD) at Cathay Pacific City on 1 – 2 February 2010.


CAA PBN Industry Forum 18 Nov 2009 Auckland

RNP AR Users Group

RNP AR Users Group Meeting 2011

Contact Information

Waypoints - Newsletter of the Global PBN Task Force

Issue 1 Quarter 2 2009 (787 KB) Issue 2 Quarter 3 2009 (1.7 MB)
Issue 3 Quarter 4 2009 (1 MB)  

Further Information

New Southern Sky (formerly the National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan

Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) - FAA web site

Subscribe to our Email Notification Service to receive updates - check the PBN box. If you are already a subscriber, use this link to view or change the lists you have subscribed to.

Ministry of Transport web page:

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) web site: