Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The Instrument Flight Procedure (IFP) [A listing of all acronyms and definitions is provided in Appendix A] is an essential component to the aviation system. Every day and during every flight, thousands of aircraft around the world are flying instrument departure, arrival, or approach procedures (International Civil Aviation Organization, 2008). Historically, Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) have relied on internal resources to produce and implement (develop, publish, flight inspect, perform quality assurance functions, and maintain) IFPs (Federal Aviation Administration, 2009). Today safety, access, environmental and capacity concerns have, in some cases, driven the demand for Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) IFPs beyond the capability or production capacity of many CAAs. Accordingly, commercial entities, referred to as Third Party Instrument Flight Procedure Designers (TPIFPD), have responded to the demand with service and product offerings to fill the need. Because of the potential entry for multiple TPIFPDs in the short-term, there is concern that the production of high-performance PBN IFPs by TPIFPDs is sensitive to the need for definitive regulatory guidance and oversight (Hughes, FAA OKs Outsourcing of RNP Design, 2007).

The introduction of TPIFPD products and services into the aviation system will bring both new opportunities and demands to PBN IFP production and implementation. Applying what the industry has learned from the past, an explicit, clear, and authoritative set of regulatory material must be identified to ensure an orderly and safe transition for TPIFPDs. The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAANZ), the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia (CASA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have all endeavored to create regulatory material to address this need. Unfortunately for TPIFPDs this regulatory material has not been harmonized or standardized to ensure consistency and means of compliance.

This paper presents a preliminary qualitative case study of TPIFPD operations and oversight requirements as defined by FAA Draft Advisory Circular 90-TPA, CASA CAR Part 173, and CAANZ CAR Part 173. While each of the aforementioned CAAs have established regulatory material on the subject it was the goal of this study to compare and contrast existing requirements to support the harmonization and fortification of future regulatory material on the subject.