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Safer Skies With Performance Based Navigation

Performance Based Navigation (PBN) is one of the areas in which Leonardo and Italian air navigation service provider ENAV have joined forces to develop innovative solutions for a more efficient use of helicopters in the dedicated Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) air space.

Performance Based Navigation (PBN) is one of the areas in which Leonardo and Italian air navigation service provider ENAV have joined forces to develop innovative solutions for a more efficient use of helicopters in the dedicated Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) air space, part of a wider project focusing on digitalisation, sustainability and safety.

PBN combines advanced satellite navigation and aircraft avionics to augment or replace traditional land-based radio navigation systems, optimising the use of airspace, allowing more direct routing, and increasing precision in approach and landing. The adoption and implementation of PBN significantly enhances flight safety, environmental protection, public service flexibility, responsiveness and effectiveness, and air transport efficiency.

Through this innovative collaboration, Leonardo combines its industrial capabilities for the design, production, supply and support of modern, high-performance helicopters with ENAV’s expertise in the development and management of air space in Italy and beyond.

PBN is the newest generation of IFR procedures based on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). The latest certification standards of Leonardo’s helicopters, with their advanced systems and equipment, already allows the use of modern PBN navigation procedures, and ENAV has long been at the forefront of design for PBN procedures for both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.

ENAV and Leonardo tested and validated the PBN procedure for the Foggia-Tremiti S. Domino Island route in the Apulia region (Southern Italy) for the first time last year. The successfully validated procedures, using a latest generation Leonardo AW169 helicopter, were the result of a collaboration between Italian helicopter transport and HEMS operator Alidaunia and the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) within the framework of the PHAR project (PBN for Hems in the Apulia Region).