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Abstract

The commercial aviation industry has been grown steadily in the past decade in terms of the number of flights operated and passengers traveled. The Federal Aviation Administration has introduced several technologies and initiatives under the NextGen Program. Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) is one such technology that is aimed at improving the efficiency of the National Airspace System which will improve system capacity and reduce delays. The airlines operate with restrained resources and investments into reducing fuel costs and flight times will directly or indirectly impact profit margins. PBN procedures and routes can help airlines reduce block times as flights will be able to fly more direct routes and utilize more efficient procedures in the terminal airspace. The study is aimed at analyzing the effect of PBN on fuel and block time efficiency for a flight. The study utilized a quantitative research method and utilized simulations of 20 flights on 10 different city-pairs. The 10 city-pairs were selected to sample routes of different distances. 10 flights were simulated utilizing the lowest form of PBN capability and without Global Positioning System (GPS) procedures and the other 10 flights utilized the highest PBN capability and GPS procedures. A comparative analysis was carried out with the data retrieved from the simulations for the 10 city-pairs. The results indicated that flight time could be reduced by an average of 7.3% by utilizing enhanced PBN procedures and fuel usage could be reduced by an average of 2.3%. The benefits offered by PBN improved with an increase in route distances due to larger fuel and time savings.

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