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The air navigation is the process of steering an aircraft in flight from an initial position to a final position, following a determined route, and fulfilling certain requirements of safety and efficiency. The navigation is performed by each aircraft independently, using diverse external sources of information and proper on- board equipment.
Besides the primary goal above mentioned (safe and efficient controlled flight towards destination), three important additional goals can be mentioned:
- Avoid getting lost.
- Avoid collisions with other aircraft or obstacles.
- Minimize the influence of adverse meteorological conditions.
In addition, from a system wide perspective, the main goal of air navigation is to make possible air transportation day after day by means of providing the required services to perform operations safely and efficiently.
Figure 10.1: Dual vision of Air navigation: single flight vs system-wide perspective.
Figure 10.1 illustrates these dual vision in the definition of air navigation.