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The introduction of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) is key to achieving airspace modernisation. PBN improves the accuracy of where aircraft fly by using modern satellite navigation and moving away from outdated and conventional navigation techniques using ground-based beacons. This is similar to GPS "sat nav" devices that most people use in their cars today.
As Heathrow’s airspace is redesigned, we will make greater use of PBN. Heathrow needs to introduce PBN to meet its commitments to the Government’s Airspace Modernisation Strategy.
PBN is being introduced across the world. The new technology allows more flexible positioning of routes and enables aircraft to fly them more accurately. This helps improve operational performance and reduce delays. It also provides opportunities to avoid noise sensitive areas.
We understand that narrower flight paths due to the introduction of PBN is a concern to some local communities. Heathrow is committed to working with residents, local stakeholders and the aviation industry to find ways to realise the benefits of PBN, while seeking to limit negative effects from aircraft noise.
Heathrow has engaged community forums on design principles for a number of Airspace Change Proposals over the last few years. Discussions have included looking at options to ‘share’ aircraft noise to reduce the potential impact of future flight paths being more concentrated. We will continue to consider options to mitigate the potential impacts of PBN on our local communities.
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