Increased operations of regional jets and smaller turboprop aircraft into smaller airports via previously little-used airway routes may result in additional demands on ATC, and may result in greater numbers of published RNAV/RNP procedures to mitigate the increased noise impact on local communities. In 2016, for instance, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism in Japan created a low-altitude RNAV route between Oshima Island and Hachijyojima Island. These routes are expected to become more commonplace over time, with a goal of the FAA being to implement RNAV throughout the National Airspace System. The FAA has already begun decomissioning surface-based navigational aids; many Non-directional Radio Beacons (NDBs) have been shut down, with a plan to do the same for VORs. In the absence of these options, RNAV/RNP use will become more common by necesity.
GNSS/RNAV packages with space based augmentation systems (SBAS ) receivers being installed in most current aircraft enable aircraft to meet requirements for operations down to RNP 0.3, including localizer precision with vertical guidance (LPV) operations down to 200’minimums, as well as RNP 1.0 missed approach procedures.
That means that aircraft such as the Cessna Mustang and Embraer Phenom 100/300, among other smaller equipped aircraft, are likely candidates for RNP approvals. Use of SBAS has increased navigation performance capabilities, and 197 new RNAV systems were implemented in the U.S. in FY 2016 alone. In addition, and separate from the transition to performance based navigation (PBN), ICAO has recommended states to equip for LPV precision approach capability also if instrument landing provisions exist, as a back-up capability
New demands and unfamiliar procedures may create increased operational risk during transition to these new procedures, also because of the multitude of operational types and approach classifications many with slightly differing minimums and limitations.
RNAV/RNP procedures may permit descent to ILS-like minimums into airports not having infrastructure such as runway approach and centerline lights.
NextGen/SESAR hazard condition: Pilot must navigate to RNAV/RNP route. Associated human performance hazard: Pilot deviates from departure route or navigates to the wrong route without being able to cross verify.
Increasingly heterogeneous vehicles with varying capabilities could put strain on operating systems. GNSS integration in COM/NAV architecture : VHF jamming GPS with poor antenna cables hardening and nasty connectors creating GPS Flags, bad interfaces between GNSS receivers displays and A.P.
ATC requesting direct to other WP than published add workload and possibility of pilot’s errors.