Implementation of performance-based navigation (PBN) across the entire National Airspace System is a key NextGen goal. PBN is a critical enabler of trajectory-based operations, which are intended to reduce delays through increased operational predictability. With the implementation of PBN flight procedures through FAA’s Metroplex and related processes, some communities have expressed concern regarding increased aircraft noise exposure. Multiple lawsuits have been filed, and in some cases, FAA has been directed by the courts to return to the pre-area navigation (RNAV) flight procedures, negating the benefits of reduced fuel consumption and air emissions. It is likely that, to ensure the continued successful rollout of NextGen procedures, consideration will need to be given not only to efficiency improvements but also to minimizing community impacts; yet there is no established technique to balance these two goals.
The objective of this research is to identify viable techniques for considering both capacity/efficiency and community impacts when modifying NextGen flight tracks.