Flight Validation – some background information

To start our introduction to the world of Flight Validation, we should begin with the differences between Flight Inspection and Flight Validation:

  • Flight Inspection deals with discrete signals in space, radiated from Navigational Aids from known positions. It requires a dedicated Flight Inspection System and a properly training and certified Flight / NavAid Inspector
  • Flight Validation assesses Instrument Flight Procedures with regard to Flyability, Terrain / Obstacle considerations and Workload for Flight Crews while flying the procedure. Additionally, as for RNAV / RNP / PBN Procedures no discrete NavAids are given, Flight Validation assesses the complete path from Procedure Design to Chart and Database Promulgation, verifying that all steps along the way result in

    a. the final product – Chart and Database – match the procedure as intended by the Procedure Designer
    and
    b. The final product – the Procedure – is flyable
  • For reasons given above Flight Validation is to be performed by a properly trained and certified Flight Validation Pilot.

ICAO, with an effective date of November 2012, reacted to this by making a flight validation of new procedures mandatory prior publication, as per ICAO Doc 9906 Vol 5 & 6.

The concept of Flight Validation brought new factors, like data base, charting and flyability issues, to our industry. As new RNAV / RNP / PBN procedures are not based on conventional navigational aids anymore, but on databases for the different Flight Management Systems on board the aircraft  that handle the actual navigation,  the issue of validating the integrity of these databases grew significantly in importance, requiring new tools, like so-called Pre-Production Databases, for the task. As it turned out, the fact that now various stakeholders are involved in issuing a new procedure – procedure designer, air navigation service provider, database coder, database packer, regulator, Flight Validation organisation – coordinating these various stakeholders effectively prior promulgation of the new procedure proved to be a challenge at times.

The concept of Flight Validation also instigated a new job description in our industry, in the shape of the Flight Validation Pilot, and the training and certification issues that came with this new role.

For a direct link to ICAO Doc 9906 click here.

For a more detailed briefing on the topic of Flight Validation of new procedures and all the issues that come with it, click here.

Please browse through the next two slides in this chapter of our webpage, to find out how TransPolar could assist you in all matters regarding Flight Validation!