About the Project
The FAA has prepared an FEA to fulfill the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). NEPA requires environmental review of federal actions including federal funding, approvals and certifications. The implementation of new flight procedures is considered a federal action. Therefore, environmental review of the proposed development is required per NEPA. The environmental review has been documented in an FEA and completed in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) policies and procedures for considering environmental impacts: FAA Order 1050.1E, Policies and Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts.
Over the next two decades the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will face major challenges meeting future demand while improving safety, reducing delays, and protecting the environment. The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is the FAA’s primary means to transform the national air transportation system. NextGen represents a substantial and long-term change in the management and operation of the national air transportation system. This is a comprehensive initiative that involves not only the development of new technology, but also the leveraging of existing technologies. This includes satellite navigation and control of aircraft, advanced digital communications, and enhanced connectivity between all components of the national air transportation system. NextGen is a highly complex, multilayered, long-term process, developing and implementing new technologies and changing the operating environment. Modern seamless airspace and Performance Based Navigation (PBN) are key building blocks for NextGen. Ultimately, more aircraft will safely fly closer together on more direct routes, reducing delays and providing unprecedented benefits for the environment and the economy through reductions in carbon emissions, fuel consumption and noise.
The FAA describes PBN as a framework for defining performance requirements in “navigation specifications” that contain detailed aircraft operator/pilot requirements. PBN flight routes and procedures allow aircraft to fly more direct routes and the FAA to optimize the use of airspace, which will increase airspace capacity and reduce delays.
Area Navigation (RNAV) and Required Navigation Performance (RNP) are the two main components of PBN. RNAV enables aircraft to fly without relying solely on ground based navigation aids. Aircraft can fly on any desired flight path within the coverage of ground- or space-based navigation aids, within the limits of the capability of aircraft self-contained systems, or a combination of both capabilities. RNP is RNAV with the addition of on-flight monitoring of the airplane’s performance. The pilot receives an alert if the aircraft is not performing in accordance with the requirements for a specific procedure.
The Proposed Action that was evaluated in the FEA was to implement new RNAV and RNP approach procedures at SEA.
For more information, please contact the FAA at firstname.lastname@example.org or Laura Taylor at Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc., 8880 Cal Center Drive, Suite 430, Sacramento, CA 95826 or 916.368.0707.