What is it?

It is a navigation method based on communication and surveillance performances. ICAO’s PBCS concept is aligned with performance based navigation (PBN). While PBN applies Required Navigation Performance (RNP) and Area Navigation (RNAV) as specifications for the navigation element, PBCS applies Required Communication Performance (RCP) and Required Surveillance Performance (RSP) specifications. the last two interconnected with RNP (required navigation performance).

RSP (required surveillance performance): Known as “surveillance data delivery”, stipulated in the aircraft flight manual, indicates how often the aircraft sends its position to the ATC/ground station. There are two specifications, RSP180 and RSP400, which indicate the maximum number of seconds (180 or 400) for the transaction to take place.

RCP (required communication performance): The ICAO has two specifications, RCP240 and RCP400, which indicate the maximum number of seconds (240 or 400), or “transaction time”, for the flight controller to issue an instruction and receive from the crew and/or aircraft, an answer. This communication can be via CPDLC, HFDL, VDL or SATCOM.


PBCS provides objective operational criteria for evaluating different and emerging communication and surveillance technologies aimed at evolving air traffic management (ATM) operations. It also provides a framework in which all stakeholders (regulators, air traffic service providers, operators, communication service providers – CSP and manufacturers) continue to collaborate in optimizing the use of available airspace while identifying and mitigating risks to safety. The PBCS includes post-implantation monitoring programs, on a local and regional basis, with global exchange of information.


The PBCS concept provides a framework for applying RCP and RSP specifications to ensure acceptable levels of communication, vigilance, and performance of an operating system. These specifications are applied using the following methods:

a) prescribing an RCP specification for a communication capability and/or an RSP specification for a surveillance capability, either of which is necessary for the provision of air traffic services (ATS) in a given airspace;

b) operational authorization to archive the RCP/RSP capabilities of the flight plan, including aircraft equipment where RCP and/or RSP specifications are prescribed for the communication and/or surveillance capabilities that support the provision of ATS; and

c) local and regional monitoring programs to assess actual communication and surveillance performance against RCP and RSP specifications, thereby determining corrective action, as applicable, for the appropriate entity.

The use of PBCS (RSP/RCP) requires, in addition to operator approval, the involvement and approval of the air traffic service provider, as it is a two-way communication and surveillance effort. There are dependencies and complexity with equipment patterns at both ends. PBCS is a major step forward in maximizing and making more efficient use of airspace, thanks to the advent of better technology that allows for high safety standards.

Role of the CARSAMMA

After implementation, CARSAMMA will be responsible for Monitoring the PBCS Airspace through the Lateral and Longitudinal Risk Calculation. The Agency intends to use a program similar to the one used today for the Calculation of Vertical Risk in the RVSM Airspace. For this, it will receive data from SAGITTARIUS with information on lateral and longitudinal deviations of each aircraft that flies in this special Airspace, always aiming at Operational Safety.

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