What is RNAV ? (Area Navigation)

Over the years, the air navigation technics are developed and implemented with the developing technology, the equipment on the aircraft is developing.

Screenshot 2022-03-21 153321
Source: RNAV Training for ATC,Air Traffic Control Association Japan, 2007.

in this topic i would like to mention the technic that is the latest and the most applied, allowing direct flight routes, helping to eliminate environmental and operational deficiencies, ensuring optimum use of airspace by designing efficient flight procedures, and enabling safe and economical flight. Area Navigaiton.

The RNAV system is a navigation method that allows the operation of the aircraft on any desired flight route by using the information received from ground-based, satellite-based, on-board systems or a combination of the devices on the aircraft within their own navigational limits (VOR, DME, INS, GNSS). The RNAV system allows aircraft to fly over waypoints without needing to fly over ground-based navigation aids. In particular, the problem of routes restricted by conventional navigation due to ground-based navigation aids is eliminated.

RNAV is provided by the use of a navigation computer, by using computer-connected navigation sensors estimates the aircraft’s position and compares the estimate with the specified route. The deviation between the estimated position and the defined path creates guidance information. To perform RNAV, the aircraft must have an RNAV system.


With the navigation features and infrastructure provided, RNAV becomes applicable (The application of the relevant navigation infrastructure and features to the air traffic services (ATS) road network, instrument approach procedures, and/or specific airspace)

History Brief
Various ground-based RNAV systems have been procured over the years from terrestrial sources; they originally depended on low frequency (LF) / very low frequency (VLF) radio signals. RNAV has been moved to positions derived from very high frequency (VHR) omnidirectional range (VOR) radials and/or distance measuring device (DME) distances. Inertial navigation systems (INS) can be used to maintain up to 2 hours of previous tracking. The advent of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) was essentially its most comprehensive.

Further Reads :

RNAV procedure nomenclatures are subject to change within the scope of standardization today and are under a title. I hope i cover it in another post and the post here is informative.