The focus for this project originated based on the mission of the Federal Aviation Administration to move towards NextGen; the Next Generation Air Transportation System. “NextGen's promise is founded on shifting from ground-based to satellite-based operation” . A key component of NextGen is Performance Based Navigation. PBN requires a certain level of performance from the aircraft and the air crew to fly certain types of air traffic procedure. It used to be that aircraft could navigate primarily by ground-based navigational aids. These ground based navigation aids have limited flexibility and are expensive to install and maintain. Using ground-based navaids, aircraft are forced to fly from one specific fixed location to another specific fixed location.

With the advent of satellite-based navigation (via NextGen), procedures are now developed using point in space rather than being tied to ground-based navaids. Advanced procedures such as Area Navigation (RNAV) and Required Navigation Performance (RNP) take advantage of this satellite-based technology. NAV and RNP gives greater aircraft flexibility in flight paths and profiles, and it enables them to fly more precise and efficient routes. This leads to potential for flights to reduce the miles flown, save fuel, and improve efficiency. The use of a decision support tool in the terminal environment when coupled with RNAV and RNP procedures, will improve capacity, enhance efficiency, and lessen environmental impact. Below is an example of these types of satellite based arrival procedures.

The diagram below depicts the project work flow for TDST.


The primary objectives for the execution of the project are listed below. These bullets represent all areas the team will investigate towards meeting the end goal of this effort. The body of this proposal goes into more detail on each objective listed below.

  • Identify Sponsor/Stakeholders/Subject Matter Experts
  • Perform gap analysis to determine unmet need
  • Identify potential decision tool(s) to evaluate based on the gap analysis
  • Identify metrics and weigh them to perform alternative analysis
  • Present results of all analyses
  • Present results of all analyses
  • Based on results, recommend and suggest implementation strategy
  • Present recommendation to key subject matter experts for inputs and possible incorporation