National Airspace Representative/Established on Required Navigation Performance
Josh Haviland is the Article 114 National Airspace Representative and Article 114 National EoR Representative.
Background: Required Navigation Performance (RNP) describes an aircraft’s capability to navigate using certain performance standards. When an aircraft is “RNP equipped”, it has the ability to monitor the aircraft’s flight track conformance and alert pilots when area navigation performance that cannot be met. The typical RNP conformance requirement for an RNAV (RNP) instrument approach procedure is 0.3 nautical miles from the centerline of the final approach course.
Unlike vectoring an aircraft to the extended runway centerline for an approach, once established on an RNP approach on the downwind or a base segment, controllers can allow an aircraft to turn to final without providing a minimum of 1000 feet vertical or 3 miles radar separation from aircraft established on an approach to a parallel runway. Application of EoR is available to airports having independent operations with the following runway configurations: Parallel Dual – Runways between 3600 and 9000 feet separated for dual operations; Parallel Triple – Runways between 3900 and 9000 feet apart; Parallel Widely-Spaced – Runways greater than 9000 feet apart.
Weekly meetings continue with several ATO directorates on airspace modernization efforts across the NAS. Because Metroplex activities will be ending in 2021, AJV-S3 has taken on the task for developing a plan aimed at modernizing all Core 30 airports into 2030. There are several groups addressing various issues and AJV-S3 is attempting to consolidate and organize these parallel activities so that engagement with ATC facilities is not being duplicated and staffing restrictions are being considered.
EoR: This month, AJT and ANG facilitated a Fly It meeting with several stakeholders in preparation of EoR implementation at LAX later this year. The purpose of the meeting was to coordinate FAA internal deadlines and determine roles and responsibilities for ensuring the deadlines are met. The amendment to the RNAV (RNP) procedures remains on track for an August 12 implementation.
PBN/Metroplex Design and Implementation
Ed Hulsey is the Article 114 Representative for PBN/Metroplex Design and Implementation.
Background: In late 2009, the aviation industry’s Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) Task Force 5 published a report that included a key set of recommendations concerning the top priorities for the implementation of NextGen. In its report, RTCA advocated a collaborative approach to the development and optimization of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures that result in measurable benefit. RTCA also recommended the integrated development of PBN procedures and airspace in order to deliver the most efficient operation. The FAA responded to these recommendations with the Metroplex initiative.
Metroplex provides an integrated, systematic, repeatable approach to the design and implementation of PBN procedures and associated airspace changes. Metroplex projects focus on a specific geographic area and the airspace, airports and operations within that area. The primary goal of a Metroplex project is to increase operational efficiency and enable near-term operational benefits. Metroplex applies established criteria and processes to make use of existing aircraft and Air Traffic Control (ATC) capabilities. A key feature of Metroplex projects is the integration of PBN procedure and airspace design. The FAA’s Director of Airspace Services determines Metroplex site selection and prioritization with input from the stakeholder community.
All ongoing Metroplex projects are currently working to meet project milestones with a Metroplex program funding termination (sunset) date of September 30, 2021. To date, the OAPM (Metroplex) MOU and current collaborative co-lead structure has remained unchanged (status quo) since the AJV reorganization. The Las Vegas Metroplex implemented on February 25, 2021. The procedures are mostly working as designed with minor amendments required on some near-term chart dates. During high traffic periods of metering, the procedures are inefficient due to the lack of Adjacent Center Metering (ACM) with the other first-tier centers feeding Los Angeles Center (ZLA). ZLA will be working with the Trajectory Based Operations (TBO) program office and AJT on addressing this in the future. The final EA FONSI/ROD for the Florida Metroplex was signed on October 15, 2020. The team is still on track for implementations on April 22, 2021, and August 2021. The team has been meeting regularly with AFS to discuss criteria issues surrounding some of the procedures slotted for the April and August implementations. The team is currently meeting with the facilities to discuss a path forward with updating the procedures during post-implementation.
Due to the organizational restructure with AJV (FAA Mission Support Services), the agency policy and strategy decisions now reside at the FAA HQ level while project execution belongs to the Service Centers. The Agency has now implemented a transition plan for moving the authorizations and approvals of PBN projects from HQ to each of the three service centers. While all governing orders and MOUs remain in effect and status quo, we are still working through the project execution issues that arose from the reorganization. COVID-19 issues have further slowed, and in most cases, halted PBN single-site work. Atlantic Coast Routes (ACR), Northeast Corridor initiative (NEC) and VOR Minimal Operating Network (VOR MON) initiatives have been identified as agency priorities and are moving forward while still recognizing facility resource constraints. Agency-wide re-prioritization of NAS initiatives/activities is still currently ongoing. NATCA participated in workgroup activities to review, evaluate, and assess current PBN and IFP processes and provided those recommendations to NATCA/FAA workgroup sponsors on December 15, 2020. The Central Service Area hosted the most recent PBN Co-Leads meeting on April 12-14, 2021, with briefings from Communications, Community Outreach, Legal, AJT TBO, Flight Standards and MITRE TARGETS support on the agenda.
Eastern Service Center (ESC) Performance Based Navigation (PBN) & Northeast Corridor (NEC) Airspace and Procedure
Bill Wise is the Article 114 Representative for ESC PBN & NEC Airspace and Procedures.
Background: PBN Co-Leads are responsible for the oversight of designing, developing, and implementing PBN procedures and/or routes. Using a collaborative work group structure, PBN Co-Leads are also responsible for organizing work group activities and making every effort to reach agreement through a group consensus. Each FAA Service Center is represented by an FAA and NATCA Co-Lead, with the exception of the Eastern Service Center, which has two sets of Co-Leads due to the high demand of PBN resources for ongoing national initiatives.
The Raleigh-Durham (RDU) project and Washington National (DCA/P56) project are in post implementation. DCA/P56 appears to have been successful with 2 months of data and we will move to close the project out over the next 4 months. RDU has several SIDs that need editorial changes and the MALNR STAR will require further modification with Jacksonville Center (ZJX) and Washington Center (ZDC) because of continued Descent Gradient issues.
There is a coding issue on the KALLI SID at Richmond (RIC) that the team has been trying to clear for an extend time and hope to get the procedure to publication this year. The long held BWI project is set for preliminary meeting with Potomac Tracon (PCT), ZDC and the Maryland Aviation Administration the week of April 22.
The Northeast Corridor (NEC) VORMON project is broken down into 10 Groups that encompass procedure work for the decommissioning of approximately 55 NAVAIDs. Group 10 is the removal of effected victor routes and if necessary, the replacement with T-routes in the BOS, NY and Washington districts. Work on Group 10 continues in the BOS, NY and Washington district. Over the last month we have worked with New York Tracon (N90) on notional designs to eliminate much of the victor airway system in their airspace and design notional T-routes where necessary. Initial meetings were held with Boston center (ZBW), Providence (PVD), Bradley (Y90) and Albany (ALB) to connect their previous notional designs outside NEC with the new N90 designs. There has been tremendous progress and cooperation with all facilities. The next set of meetings will be with New York Center (ZNY), Binghampton (BGM), Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AVP), Allentown (ABE), Reading (RDG), and Middletown (MDT) to eliminate the dependencies on the VORs set for decommissioning in the NY district. We anticipate this Victor airway elimination and T-route replacement in the NEC will continue through the summer months into fall depending on facility (COVID) staffing and training constraints. NEC backed Park Charted visual will publish on April 22, 2021. This Charted Visual will be used in conjunction with the Laguardia (LGA) GPS-X RWY31 special as a proof of concept for the use of extended visual segment in final similar to Kennedy (JFK) GPS-Z RWY13L. NEC TEB/HPN escape route designs were test this past month. Facility input is still be collected and further testing maybe necessary.
Central Service Center (CSC) Performance Based Navigation (PBN)
Eric Johnson is the Article 114 Representative for CSC PBN.
The CSA PBN team conducted a finalization meeting for STAR’s and RNP approaches at MDW on 3/30. These changes are driven by the decommissioning of the LFD and OKK VOR’s. The planned meeting on 4/5 with LFT, MSY, and ZHU was cancelled due to LFT and RQR VOR’s having their decom date moved to FY28. This move was due to the backlog of other projects within the CSA and the need to free up chart slots in FY23/24 to complete other work. These two VOR’s consumed over 80-chart slots total. I attended the Project Graceland meeting held on April 6-8 that was hosted by the WSA Co-Leads in support of ESA. Several CSA facilities are impacted by the proposed changes. CSA PBN conducted a finalization meeting with OMA, OFF, ZKC, and ZMP in support of the decom of the PWE and SUX VOR’s. OMA and OFF required 2 new RNAV STAR’s to mitigate the loss of their conventional procedures. I also attended the National PBN Co-Lead meeting from 4/12-4/14.
Eastern Service Center (ESC) PBN
Joey Tinsley is the Article 114 Representative for ESC PBN.
The ESC PBN Co-Leads are working on multiple projects to include VORMON, NEC ACR (Northeast Corridor Atlantic Coast Routes), Charleston (CHS) STARs/SIDs, NY Area STARs/SIDs, Philadelphia (PHL) STARs/SIDs, Portland (PWM) STARs and Boston (BOS) Massport. Our monthly telcons with the Facility POCs on the Northeast Corridor Atlantic Coast Route (NEC ACR) project continue. Part of the NEC ACR project will be implemented in the fall of 2021 with the remainder being shifted to the fall 2022. Still working with Washington Center (ZDC) on training and different platforms that are available to implement a major airspace change on Sept 2021. The remaining T-Routes and STARs for this phase of the Boston (ZBW) VORMON project are being published on 6/17/21. We had a telcon with the facility this week and have one additional telcon planned the week prior to implementation to make sure there are no issues. Two of the three weeks of scheduled meetings to accomplish the design work for the Atlanta Center (ZTL) VORMON project have been completed. We have one more week of meetings occurring the week of 4/20. After these meetings are complete, we will have a lot of coordination required with surrounding ATC facilities to give the NAS a proper design across boundaries. The proposed implementation dates are beginning summer of 2022. While updating the STARs into PWM for VORMON removals it was realized that PWM has been having flyability issues on the CDOGG STAR. ZBW, Boston Tracon (A90) and PWM are working on a solution to resolve these issues and provide a better product to controllers and industry. We will be meeting again on the RWY11 transition to complete the design of these STARs. The BOS Massport Block 1 SIDs received the approval from Massport (BOS Community Advisory Committee) and has a proposed implementation date of 12/2/21. Massport has also been working with our team on the Block 2 recommendations. Our team is meeting weekly with A90 on the concepts presented to see what works best for ATC. The official Block 2 recommendations are expected around April.
Las Vegas Metroplex
Jeff Plendl is the Article 114 Representative for Las Vegas Metroplex.
Background: The recommendation to include the Las Vegas area into a Metroplex was decided in a September 2009 Final Report from the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) Task Force 5. The report identified McCarran Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas as a Core airport and provided recommendations to optimize the airspace and procedures around Las Vegas. Subsequently, In May 2012 an Operational Study Team (OST) was formed. In August of 2017, a Design and Implementation (D&I) team was formed to address identified operational and efficiency issues. Design work continued through February 2019. Since then, the Las Vegas Metroplex has been working through the Evaluation and Implementation phases of the project. Implementation date is currently scheduled for November 5, 2020.
We began our re-design meetings and met with all four adjacent centers to address any of their concerns. The list of requests from the adjacent centers is minimal. We are working with L30 through some internal airspace issues. The noise complaints from the usage of the RATPK and GIDGT SIDS off RWY 19 are increasing and gaining attention from local politicians and the Regional Administrator for Western Pacific. We are gathering data to ensure we are using that runway correctly.