Request for Support Message  
Safety Subject: Operator Errors relating to P-RNAV operations - informing Hazard Analyses in support of Safety Case development
Origin: UK NATS
Date: 18 November 2010
Distribution: Air Navigation Service Providers, Aircraft Operators

Operator Errors relating to P-RNAV operations - informing Hazard Analyses in support of Safety Case development


The purpose of this Request for Support message (RFS) is to gather instances of operator errors relating to Precision Area Navigation (P-RNAV) STARs, transitions and SIDs that can inform the hazard analyses needed to support the development of local Safety Cases for the introduction of P-RNAV operations. This will ensure the appropriate mitigations are put in place.


Evidence considered so far has shown that operator errors (such as aircraft flying the wrong P-RNAV SID) dominate the occurrence reports within National and European (e.g. EVAIR) databases. This RFS seeks further experiences (e.g. identified hazards, reported/recorded deviations, corrective actions, mitigations, best practices etc) from ANSPs and Aircraft Operators.


Overall, it is expected that P-RNAV operations will be acceptably safe subject to the implementation being undertaken with due reference to the following:

  • JAA TGL 10, Rev1, Airworthiness and Operational Approval for Precision RNAV Operations in Designated European Airspace, dated Feb 05 (for P-RNAV equipage and operational approval).
  • ICAO
    • Doc 8168-OPS/611 (including requirements for obstacle and terrain clearance).
    • Doc 7030/4 - Regional Supplementary Procedures, EUR Region (for ATC and aircrew requirements in respect of P-RNAV).
    • Doc 9613 Performance Based Navigation (PBN) manual (3rd edition 2008) Vol 2 part B.
    • NAV.ET1.ST10, Guidance Material for the Design of Procedures for Area Navigation, Edition 3.0, March 2003.
    • EUROCONTROL Safety Argument for Precision RNAV (P-RNAV) in Terminal Airspace (Version 3.2, May 2008), Appendix A.

Whilst it may be assumed that the above requirements and guidance have been applied, there may be instances where the assumptions made are found to be incorrect, or additional causal factors have not been considered.  Air navigation service providers and aircraft operators are kindly requested to provide details of instances of:

  1. Operator errors relating to the use of P-RNAV operations in both TMA and En-route airspace. (Note: NATS is also studying the feasibility of extending P-RNAV to En route airspace as part of its cooperation with the Functional Airspace Block Europe Central (FABEC) project).
  2. Equivalent experiences from other applications of Performance Based Navigation such as:
    • RNP0.3,
    • RNAV (GNSS) Baro VNAV Approach,
    • General RNAV NPAs (i.e. LNAV only) etc.

For more information contact, EUROCONTROL Safety Alerts Coordinator, Richard Lawrence


© European Organisation for Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) November 2010. This alert is published by EUROCONTROL for information purposes. It may be copied in whole or in part, provided that EUROCONTROL is mentioned as the source and to the extent justified by the non-commercial use (not for sale). The information in this document may not be modified without prior written permission from EUROCONTROL. The use of the document is at the user’s sole risk and responsibility. EUROCONTROL expressly disclaim any and all warranties with respect to any content within the alert, express or implied.

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