EBAA calls for swift implementation of new PBN-IR performance-based navigation rules

Around 374,000 European jobs are either directly or indirectly dependent on the European business aviation sector.
The operation of business aircraft in Europe generates €42 billion in output, €15 billion in gross value added (equivalent to about the total GDP of Cyprus), and €10 billion spent in salaries.
Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Italy and France are the key locations where business aircraft operate, accounting for 57 per cent of all direct, indirect and induced jobs. At the regional level, major centres for business aviation activities are: Paris (Île-de-France), Greater London and Geneva.
The total contribution of business aviation including manufacture on the European Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is comparable to Latvia’s contribution to the region’s economy.

The European Business Aviation Association is calling on the European Commission to provide the necessary additional regulatory and financial tools to help national and regional authorities implement Performance Based Navigation Rules (PBN-IR).

EBAA secretary general Athar Husain Khan issued the call while speaking at a recent event titled Business Aviation – Boosting Regional Opportunities and Connectivity, organised to coincide with the European Week of regions and cities.

PBN-IR opens the door to the large deployment of European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS)-based procedures. Business aviation is an early adopter of this technology, with most business aircraft already equipped with the relevant technology.

The full implementation of PBN-IR would provide a concrete, effective and cost-efficient solution to increase airport access across the European region, at a time in which airport capacity is seen as one of the main transport challenges across the EU.

Khan said: “The development of EGNOS-based technologies is the best way to ensure safer access at secondary and tertiary airports in all weather conditions, and it makes infinite sense that this technology should be rolled out.”

“The adoption of PBN implementing rules is an important step towards increased access to airports, but for this progress to become tangible, it is important that the Commission and EASA support local and regional players in this transition. This is a concrete solution to the capacity challenges we see across the region.”

“I therefore call on the European Commission to provide guidance to local authorities. In addition, I hope that SMEs are provided with improved access to EU funding in the area of research and innovation.”

Khan’s comments were echoed by other members of the panel at the same event.

Stan Medved, director of corporate aviation at Shell Aircraft, said: “Innovative technologies on aircraft and at airports will open up a range of airports currently underserved, allowing business aviation to really bring their customers where they need to be anywhere in the region. Business aircraft already have the enhanced capability to land in reduced weather conditions, and soon in zero-visibility. It’s now only right that the infrastructure within airports and regulations meet these expectations.”

Another panelist added that the only way to face the current challenges affecting the aviation sector is for all players involved, including airports, to communicate with each other more. He stressed: “We all own part of the solution, and we need to join forces to find shared solutions for the future.”

Calls from the EBAA and industry were also echoed across other avenues gathered at the event in Brussels. Jyrki Paajanen, policy officer in the aviation safety unit at DG MOVE within the European Commission, stated: “Thanks to the air navigation strategy, we agreed with member states that we will roll out satellite-based navigation, including a compulsory programme of implementation of PBN approaches and decommissioning of old technologies.”

Léa Bodossian, secretary general at the Airport Regions Conference (ARC), stated that business aviation and local communities do share common concerns. She added: “From a regional perspective, connectivity is not simply from airport to airport, but includes the duration of journey, including the access time to the airport, cost of journey, etc. Investments in new airport technologies will have to be evaluated under this broader light.”