The 2019 Airspace Architecture Study proposes a future single European airspace system that optimises airspace structure and harmonizes operations. At its heart is the establishment of ATM data service providers (ADSPs). Combined with the virtual centre concept, they present a move from geographically based systems to service-orientated and virtual (ie location independent) architectures, ultimately enabling dynamic cross-border operations and capacity sharing. But this vision will not be possible without standardisation, says Isabel Franke-Chaudet.
The airspace transformation envisaged by the Airspace Architecture Study (AAS) would enable increased capacity, scalability and resilience and allow flights to operate along user preferred routing. The ability for air traffic controllers to provide a service in any airspace that the AAS envisions would enable new ways of working adapted to the operational need, greater optimisation of controller rostering and improved productivity. With these promised benefits on the table, there’s understandable interest in the topic of ATM data service provision, and colleagues have written about how this might work. But the full scale of these benefits will only materialise if interoperability can be achieved between providers and users through standardised interfaces. In this blog I set out the reasons why standardisation is so important, what is being done about it, and what that means for air navigation service providers today.
What standards and why?
Standards are essential to achieving the service-oriented architecture and technology independence envisaged by the AAS. These range from standards for information exchange, to data contents and quality, and end-to-end interoperability between applications.