Amendment to Current Policy on RNAV Procedural Separation Minima

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Amendment to Current Policy on RNAV Procedural Separation Minima

33RD ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Ottawa, Canada, 18-22 April 1994

WP No. 91

Amendment to Current Policy on RNAV Procedural Separation Minima


Our current policy on RNAV Procedural separation minima,(Para 7.6 on pg. 3 2 7 7 of the Policy Manual), makes reference to a time/distance standard of 10minutes/80nm, and was adopted because of our concerns related to the introduction and application of this particular standard only. It does not consider all applications of RNAV distance based separation.


The ICAO deliberations relating to the 10minute/80nm standard have concluded, with general IFATCA support, that the standard meets safety requirements, and is feasible. To this end trials have begun in the Asia/Pacific region with the use of 80nm RNAV distance based separation. The aim of the trials is to provide data to support the eventual reduction of the standard to 50nm.

At the same time, discussions have commenced within the RGCSP regarding the introduction of a 30nm RNAV standard to be applied under a more stringent set of rules and navigational accuracy’s than the 80nm one. This particular standard has been used extensively by at least two member associations for over a decade.

It is very difficult to participate in the ICAO technical Panel deliberations surrounding this issue encumbered by a policy which, it could be argued, restricts IFATCA agreement in all cases, and which does not address all of our concerns relating to the application of distance based separation. This is not only counter productive to what we are trying to do on these Panels, but also unrealistic.

As I stated in my report on the RGCSP, I feel that the present policy should be reworded to address our concerns relating to the development, introduction, and use of all RNAV distancebased separation minima, which would be pertinent to all applications of the standard.


IFATCA needs to modify its’ existing policy on RNAV Procedural Separation Minima to more accurately reflect the application of various distance based separation procedures and standards.


That existing IFATCA Policy concerning RNAV Procedural Separation Minima be deleted and replaced with the following:

7.6 – RNAV Distance-Based Separation

The introduction and application of RNA V distance-based separation minima is dependent upon the following policy:

When the use of this separation minima will result in an increase in trafflc volume, the ATC Agency responsible must have in place an infrastructure, (in terms of equipment and personnel), capable of accommodating such an increase.

The safety of a particular minima must have been established by ICAO.

ATC personnel must haw received adequate training in the application of distance-based separation, including Mach Number Technique.

A change in assigned airspeed/Mach Number must be approved by ATC.

An acceptable communications link must be in place between Air Traffic Control and Flight Crews to enable a distance standard to be applied. (The Controller will determine the adequacy of the communications link.)

Last Update: September 20, 2020  

December 21, 2019   527   Jean-Francois Lepage    1994    

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