Standards and Regulations


The Pragmatics Transportation Group is at the forefront of standards and regulations development for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Pragmatics’ Transportation Group supported the evolution and development of the United States Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures criteria. Our team has supported the development of these criteria from the early days of the Global Positioning System (GPS) through today’s Performance Based Navigation (PBN) criteria, both nationally and internationally. We have been involved with every change in navigational technology, supporting system simulation, operation analysis, and criteria development to ensure desired levels of safety and performance were met.

Utilizing the required safety level for implementing performance-based and conventional technologies for all operations, including arrivals, approaches, departures, and advanced terminal operations, we develop, provide, and revise the criteria. We facilitate satellite-based navigation into performance-based operations for all categories and classes of aircraft, from new jet transport aircraft; to commuter, business, and general aviation aircraft; to helicopters. We also support the implementation of the Required Navigation Performance (RNP) concept, defining system performance based on aircraft, airspace, and procedure classifications. This new generation of terminal and enroute operations, including continuous descent from altitude to the final approach fix of an instrument approach, is performance based, rather than specific to a navigation system. Pragmatics’ Transportation Group is involved with all aspects of criteria development, including:

  • Concept of operations
  • Development of minimum operational performance specifications
  • Development of avionics and analysis of system performance
  • Computer modeling and simulation
  • Flight test research
  • Data analysis
  • Development of criteria
  • Coordination of criteria within the FAA industry and the military, and where appropriate, internationally
  • Editorial preparation for publication
  • Distribution map

When criteria are officially published in FAA orders and implemented, Pragmatics’ Transportation Group also provides training, implementation policy, and published guidance. To facilitate the transition to new criteria, we provide technical guidance and assistance. Pragmatics’ Transportation Group personnel were instrumental in the development, design, and implementation of the first public RNP Authorization Required (AR) approach to Washington Reagan National Airport. We develop and revise criteria for en route and terminal operations, including complex path arrivals and departures. The criteria encompass basic GPS with Barometric vertical navigation and augmented GPS using both Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) and Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) navigational guidance. The complex paths include radius to fix segments, currently limited to RNP AR-certified aircraft and crews. We develop helicopter criteria unique to their performance for departures, approaches, and missed approaches to a point in space, to heliports, and to runways.

We also provide technical advisors to the U.S. members of both the Instrument Flight Procedures Panel and the Navigation Systems Panel of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Our guidance helps ensure the development of international criteria and navigation specifications and international standards and implementation are compatible with U.S. standards. Our people have been major contributors to the development of the ICAO PBN Manual and the ICAO PBN Procedures Design Manual. We also help develop implementation policy and guidance to support optimum application of RNP and PBN and work to ensure GPS is applied for optimum operational benefit, safety, and economy of operation in a performance-based national airspace system.

Learn more about Pragmatics’ innovative transportation solutions. Contact Us online or call at 703-890-8500.