electronic Aeronautical Information Publication (Phase 2 P-11)
The eAIP Specification 2.0 is developed under the EUROCONTROL Regulatory and Advisory Framework (ERAF), for the electronic Aeronautical Information Publication (eAIP). This Specification is designed to enable the harmonised visualisation of the contents of the AIP, which has to be provided by the national Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) in accordance with the ICAO Convention on Civil Aviation, in electronic form. The objective is to define a specification that could be associated with the interoperability implementing rule on the quality of aeronautical data and information developed in accordance with the Interoperability Regulation in the framework of the Single European Sky.
In this context, the aim of the eAIP Specification is to increase and to standardise the use of automation in AIS by promoting electronic versions to replace the current paper-based elements of the Integrated Aeronautical Information Package (IAIP).
The Specification is fully compliant with the ICAO requirements for AIP content and structure, as laid down in the Annex 15 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation - Aeronautical Information Services. It provides a standard way to:
- publish the content of Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP), AIP Amendments (AMDT), AIP Supplements (SUP) and Aeronautical Information Circulars (AIC) in a structured electronic format
- visualise the content of these electronic documents on a computer screen, using Web technology
In the interest of global harmonisation, the eAIP Specification is made available for the general public on the EUROCONTROL Web site. The Specification is open for widespread use by any interested State and Organisation worldwide, for free.
Relation to AIXM
The Aeronautical Information Exchange Model (AIXM) is an XML specification intended for computer to computer exchange of aeronautical information. AIXM was originally developed by EUROCONTROL for the needs of the European AIS Database (EAD).
Both specifications, i.e. eAIP and AIXM, are based on XML and are closely linked to the content of the Aeronautical Information Publications. The essential difference between the two is that:
- AIXM models the aeronautical information and is intended for computer-to-computer data exchange, while
- the eAIP Specification models the AIP document and is mainly intended for facilitating the on-screen presentation.
Supporting eAIP materials (eAIP Specification, Toolbox, presentations and papers from past workshops and user group meetings, etc.) are available on OneSky Teams.
When compared to the current paper AIP, the implementation of an eAIP has advantages for both the organisation producing the eAIP and for its users.
Advantages for users of an eAIP:
- possibility to visualise changes, both in text and graphics;
- no maintenance effort;
- no postal delays, when distributed through the Internet or equivalent private networks;» available at hand for the whole company (no need to go to the library);
- easy archiving;
- proven authenticity of the document (if digitally signed by the issuing AIS).
Advantages for producers of an eAIP:
- better AIP (consistency, integrity , usability);
- the majority of the subscribers do no longer ask for paper amendments;
- technological leap forward;
- reduced risk and cost as compared to isolated development;
- reduced costs for internal copies;
- easier to create integrated/regional AIPs;
- easy archiving (better support for legal proceedings);
- possibility to guarantee the integrity and the authenticity of the document by digitally signatures.
Since November 2004, the European AIS Database (EAD) is able to store and offer for consultation electronic AIP complying with the EUROCONTROL eAIP Specification
Technology - Extensible Markup Language (XML)
The eAIP is based on XML (eXtensible Mark-up Language), which is a meta-language - a language used to define other languages). XML has been chosen because it is commonly used for structuring documents and it is suitable for both human-to-computer and computer-to-computer interactions. It is a recognised standard since 1998, widely adopted by the software developers in many industries.
The XML standard has enabled the definition of an "eAIP language", which enables people and computers talking to each other using the same vocabulary and grammar. An electronic AIP is in fact an XML document, conforming to the eAIP Document Type Definition (DTD).
Although human readable, XML is not suitable for end users because it contains only the bare information, without any formatting artefacts. For on-screen display, the eAIP is transformed into HTML (Hyper-Text Mark-up Language). When paper is the target, the eAIP is transformed into PDF or PostScript, which may be easily printed.
Charts and graphics can be in various formats, the most interesting one for aeronautical charts being the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format. It is a vector format, which offers perfect display quality at any scale.
The eAIP Document Type Definition (DTD) is the central component of the eAIP Specification. It is complemented by:
- three manuals, each targeting a specific stakeholder category: users, editors and developers
- eAIP samples in XML, HTML and PDF format
- baseline style sheets for converting an XML eAIP into HTML and PDF format
The EUROCONTROL eAIP is not a software tool. It is a concept and a technical specification. It is a foundation on which aeronautical information users and industry can define and build the tools they need in order to exploit the "electronic AIP" concept at its full potential.
The eAIP Specification has undergone comprehensive testing and validation, which have been completed mainly through pilot implementations. These have been initiated, on a voluntary basis, in Belgium, Slovenia, The Netherlands, Armenia, Moldova, Germany (military), Slovak Republic, Italy and Latvia. The contribution of these States to the development of the eAIP Specification is hereby acknowledged.
The States currently publishing an Electronic AIP that complies with the EUROCONTROL eAIP Specification are listed below.
|eAIP online||eAIP on CD|
|Bahrain||United Arab Emirates|
|Belgium and Luxembourg|
|United Arab Emirates (evaluation version)|
Click here for free of charge access to AIP of ECAC states (including the eAIP versions where they exist) on the European AIS database public user website (EAD Basic)
In order to evaluate the capabilities of the eAIP concept, a set of samples eAIP documents are made available on this site. The content of these files is based on the content of the ICAO AIP Specimen, as provided within the ICAO AIS Manual (DOC 8126). The aeronautical data is entirely fictitious.
- eAIP Specimen - under development!
- SVG charts - these charts are part of an eAIP prototype, which was developed by EUROCONTROL for the German Military AIS (AFSBw). It demonstrates a way to dynamically visualise amendments on charts.
eAIP production and publication software is provided by industry. The companies listed here claim to provide services or products directly related to implementation of an eAIP in accordance with EUROCONTROL's Specification. The order is alphabetical. To have your organisation (commercial or not) listed here, contact email@example.com .
- Avitech - The eWiz@rd Suite is designed to assist implementation of ICAO Annex 15 recommended Quality System in AIP departments of state civil/military AISs and other Service Providers. All eAIP standard formats are supported (HTML, XML, PDF, Paper).
- Egis Avia - Atalis provides a complete and integrated solution for AIP and eAIP publication. Relying on a single AIXM database for both text and charts, Atalis improves publication accuracy and reliability through a data quality workflow and process.
- Global Imaging - Global Imaging offers the integrated Aeronautical Information System <e:AIS> for creating and maintaining aeronautical publications including AIP, Circulars, Supplements, IFR and VFR Charts and Terminal Procedures in accordance with the EUROCONTROL eAIP specification
- IDS SpA - AEROPUB is designed to assist implementation of ICAO Annex 15 in AIS departments of civil/military CAA and ANSP. AEROPUB starting from the AERODB (AICM/AIXM with EAD interface through ESI/ENA), extracts information and generates compliant ICAO AIP and Eurocontrol eAIP
- Managed AIS - M-AIS apsXML® is an XML-based HTML and PDF eAIP production solution fully compliant with EUROCONTROL's eAIP specifications. apsXML® bridges the gap between AIXM Static Database Operations (SDO) and the eAIP specification by allowing content generation inside an eAIP direct from the database.
- Synclude - Synclude® provides software products and custom services related to AIS automation, eAIP migration assistance from any paper-based AIP publication (FrameMaker, Word) to full-electronic XML solution.
- Thales - TopSky - AIM is the new AIXM5 based Aeronautical Information/Data Management solution. With a guaranteed future proof product evolution roadmap, TopSky - AIM supports the most advanced SESAR and NextGen developments, complies with ICAO's Aviation System Block Upgrades, and incorporates leading technology breakthroughs
Disclaimer: The inclusion of an organisation's name in this list does not imply in any way the endorsement of their products/services (or of the organisation itself) by EUROCONTROL. Users and buyers should make sure that these products and services are 100% compliant to the eAIP Specification.