17 May 2022

Last May, the New Southern Sky (NSS) programme published a report, the ‘NSS Benefits Assessment’, authored by Mahino, which reviewed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the delivery of NSS benefits.

For many of us, the NSS story began with the delivery of a previous report by Castalia - an economic report on the benefits forecast through delivery of the National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan (NAANP) of 2014.

However the NAANP story actually began as early as 2008, when the Aviation Community Advisory Group (ACAG),  actively engaged with the sector  to promote the benefits of adopting Performance Based Navigation (PBN) to the CAA and to government. This included briefing government departments on the advantages of adopting PBN and producing a business case for the Ministry of Transport and CAA, which showed the significant safety and economic benefits of $1.2B to be gained from a modest investment in PBN development.  A meeting with the Minister of Transport followed in early 2009, leading to the establishment of a CAA PBN Forum.

And the rest, as they say, is history. The CAA subsequently developed an appropriate policy to include a system-wide modernisation approach. This had PBN ‘at its core’, which then became the NAANP, which was branded as NSS and launched in June 2014 after around two years of consultation.

This note is to acknowledge the efforts of the ACAG in support of CAA engagement with the sector, which continues today, to the benefit of all. It is also to acknowledge the significant effort of the members of NSS Working Group and Governance Group over more than nine years. This effort will continue until this decade long collaborative modernisation programme comes to a close in 2023.

It is worth noting that, while the programme will end, the benefits are forecast to continue to be delivered until 2033. That is a fine tribute in itself to the ACAG’s foresight and determination to implement a PBN programme and to all those who followed in helping to realise that goal.