Advanced Performance Based Navigation procedures in the terminal area

Advanced curved departure procedures allow the aircraft to make an early turn (as soon as the aircraft crosses the departure end of the runway), which enhances runway throughput and flight efficiency. EUROCONTROL has performed validations and data collections to demonstrate that procedures are safe and feasible from a flyability point of view.


The procedures are expected to provide potential fuel savings in the order of at least 30 kg for a typical intra-European flight, when compared to similar procedures using the current PANS-OPS design criteria. Initial feedback from flight crews involved in the validations was overall very positive.

Our role

EUROCONTROL in cooperation with the project partners assessed and documented the feasibility and operational benefits of advanced curved departure procedures in the Terminal Area, using modern Performance Based Navigation (PBN) aircraft functions. The procedures were designed using Stockholm Arlanda (ESSA) as a reference airport. The procedures were implemented in a range of different EASA Level D aircraft flight simulators to test different aircraft behaviours in a wide range of environmental conditions. The curved departure route is coded in the aircraft’s database using the ARINC 424 “Radius-to-Fix (RF)” path terminator, which makes the aircraft behaviour very reliable with extremely predictable ground tracks. By design, the planned turn radius and groundspeed allow control over the aircraft bank angle (limiting the bank angle at low altitudes).

The new advanced departure procedures were designed for maximum aircraft efficiency without being restricted to current design limitations in ICAO PANS-OPS for the use of RF functionality in departure procedures. The new advanced procedures were compared with the existing procedure at the reference airport (ESSA) as well as with a reference procedure using RF functionality based on current ICAO PANS-OPS design criteria.

This validation exercise is part of the SESAR PJ02 Wave 2 Airside, Airport and Runway Throughput (AART) project aiming to improve the efficiency and resilience of arrival and departure operations at capacity-constrained airports and access to secondary airports by delivering operational and technical improvements to enhance infrastructure and increase traffic throughput whilst providing environmental benefits and preserving safety.


Swedavia, LFV, Avinor, Indra and Thales Air and Ground Systems