Implementation of PBN for instrument rated pilots in Switzerland

Primary Flight Display, Multifunktion Flight Display

In addition to the current conventional Instrument Rating (IR) prerequisites, further training and checking requirements as well as associated privileges were implemented for the instrument rated pilot in order to be authorised to fly Performance Based Navigation (PBN) in all phases of flight. To this end, Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 was amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/539 as regards
pilot training, testing and periodic checking for performance-based navigation

Legal requirements

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 has been amended as follows:

"Article 4a Performance-based navigation instrument rating privileges.

  1. Pilots may only fly in accordance with Performance-Based Navigation (“PBN”) procedures after they have been granted PBN privileges as an endorsement to their Instrument Rating (“IR”).
  2. A pilot shall be granted PBN privileges where he or she fulfils all of the following requirements:
     (a)  the pilot has successfully completed a course of theoretical knowledge including PBN, in accordance with FCL.615 of Annex I (Part-FCL);
     (b)  the pilot has successfully completed flying training including PBN, in accordance with FCL.615 of Annex I (Part-FCL);
     (c)  the pilot has successfully completed either a skill test in accordance with Appendix 7 to Annex I (Part-FCL) or a skill test or a proficiency check in accordance with Appendix 9 of Annex I (Part-FCL).
  3. The requirements of paragraph 2(a) and (b) shall be deemed to have been fulfilled where the competent authority considers that the competence acquired, either through training or from familiarity with PBN operations, is equivalent to the competence acquired through the courses referred to in paragraph 2(a) and (b) and the pilot demonstrates such competence to the satisfaction of the examiner during the proficiency check or skill test referred to in paragraph 2(c).
  4. A record of the successful demonstration of competency in PBN shall, upon completion of the skill test or the proficiency check referred to in paragraph 2(c), be entered in the pilot's logbook or equivalent record and signed by the examiner who conducted the test or check.
  5. IR pilots without PBN privileges may only fly on routes and approaches that do not require PBN privileges and no PBN items shall be required for the renewal of their IR, until 25 August 2020; after this date, PBN privileges shall be required for every IR."


  • Pilots operating an aircraft type rating not fulfilling all airworthiness requirements for full PBN operation, thus limited to RNAV5 (B-RNAV) and RNAV1 (P-RNAV) operation, on behalf of a CAT or NCC operator only
  • Pilots operating a complex motor-powered aeroplane with a maximum certificated take-off mass (MCTOM) at or below 5 700 kg, equipped with turboprop engines, involved in non-commercial operations when the aeroplane is not capable for full PBN operation

may apply for an exemption according to Article 14 (4) of Regulation (EC) 216/2008 by sending us the following documents:

  1. Operators’s declaration of completion of the relevant training (initial and recurrent, as applicable) and checking for the PBN part specified in the operator’s documentation
  2. Copy of a document confirming the completion of such a training

Implementation of PBN Requirements in Switzerland / Time scale

  • As of 25th August 2017
    FOCA has started the endorsement of PBN privileges in IR pilot licenses once the conditions, as outlined in (EU) 2016/539 are fulfilled.

  • From 26th August 2018
    PBN operations, including RNP Approaches, may only be flown by pilots holding an IR and PBN privileges in accordance with CR (EU) 2016/539.

  • The 25th August 2020
    is intended to be the last day when an IR without PBN privileges can be used to fly in IFR. After this date every IR has to include PBN privileges.

  • On 26th August 2020
    IR privileges of all pilots not holding PBN privileges will be revoked.

Two ways of acquisition of PBN privileges

1. Grandfathering

From 25 th August 2017 onwards, pilots who have received adequate theoretical and practical PBN training are deemed to have fulfilled the PBN theoretical course and practical training requirements
The following documents will be accepted as evidence that the theoretical and practical requirements have been fulfilled:

  • Certificate of completion of an IR PBN course conducted in accordance with FOCA Operational Directive O-017E, or equivalent; or
  • Training documents showing that during the theoretical and practical part of a training course, PBN operations, including 2D/3D approaches, were covered; or
  • A declaration from an EASA AOC holder where the pilot is currently, or has been previously, employed, certifying that the pilot has been trained for PBN operations and has practiced those during the course of his/her employment with the operator

The examiner will collect the required evidence mentioned above at the time of the skill test or proficiency check. After a skill test or proficiency check under IR covering PBN approaches (2D/3D) the examiner will send the completed file incl. form 69.800 (IR PBN Grandfathering) to FOCA for licensing action.

PBN privileges will be endorsed in the pilot’s licences under the field “XIII Remarks”.


2.  Training within an ATO having approved training program complying with the requirements specified in Regulation (EU) 2016/539 and the associated AMCs.

Certificate of successfully completed course of theoretical knowledge and flying training including PBN, in accordance with FCL.615 of Annex I (Part-FCL) will be accepted as evidence that the theoretical and practical requirements of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 Article 4a have been fulfilled

After a skill test or proficiency check under IR covering PBN approaches (2D/3D) the examiner will send the completed file incl. training certificate to FOCA for licensing action.

PBN privileges will be endorsed in the pilot’s licences under the field “XIII Remarks

Maintenance of PBN privileges after 25.08.2018.

To maintain PBN privileges, all IR skill tests and proficiency checks shall contain one PBN approach (2D/3D)

Use of aircraft, SIM or FSTD

  • The aircraft and FSTDs used for training and checking shall comply with the PBN requirements by 25th August 2018, or earlier, if used to obtain PBN license privileges in accordance with (EU) 2016/539.
  • To establish or maintain PBN privileges, one instrument approach during the skill or proficiency check shall be an RNP APCH 2D(LNAV) or 3D(LPV or LNAV/VNAV) flown on the aircraft. Where an RNP APCH in an aircraft is not practicable, it shall be performed in an appropriately equipped FSTD.


For Instructor

IR instructors (FI with IR privileges, IRI, TRI with IR privileges) shall only instruct PBN-procedures if they hold PBN privileges themselves.

For Examiner

Holders of an Examiner Certificate must hold PBN privileges themselves (either endorsed in their licence or separately confirmed by the Competent Authority) to assess PBN procedures during tests/checks.

Examiner will need to collect the evidence that the applicant went through the relevant IR PBN theory and practical course; acceptable evidence are further described above.

When satisfied that the evidences presented are adequate, Examiner will be required to conduct a focused PBN knowledge verification, to ensure that the actual PBN knowledge of the candidate is adequate to conduct the IR PBN proficiency check. Between 5 and 10 questions shall be asked to decide if the PBN knowledge is adequate or not, 75% being the recommended pass mark.

If the PBN knowledge has been evaluated as adequate the candidate may undertake the IR PBN proficiency check. Alternatively, if the PBN knowledge is deemed insufficient the candidate cannot proceed for the IR PBN proficiency check, and can only proceed for a normal IR proficiency check (without IR PBN).

The entire process shall be recorded on the FOCA form 69.800. Regarding the questions to be asked for the PBN knowledge verification we published a list of possible subjects for questions. This list is by no mean the official list of questions to be asked, it only represents ideas and possibilities.Holders of a Swiss Examiner Authorisation must have the PBN endorsement in their licence to assess PBN procedures during tests/checks. No special Authorisation will be issued.

Further information