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EUROCONTROL and DECEA successfully exchange flight data for the first time

On 21 November a highly ambitious project conceived over two years ago was finally cleared for take-off, as the EUROCONTROL Network Manager (NM) confirmed the reception and processing of FSA (First System Activation) data from Brazil by its ETFMS (Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System) operational system.

Following the successful implementation of a real-time flight data exchange between the UAE’s GCAA and EUROCONTROL in October 2015, the EUROCONTROL NM set its sights on new horizons across the Atlantic with Brazil, one of the largest air transport hubs in South America.

Although the idea of data exchange between EUROCONTROL and Brazil was first floated in 2016, it was not until 17 October that FSAs from DECEA, Brazil’s Department of Airspace Control, reached EUROCONTROL’s testing platform, before full confirmation that total data exchange would be possible almost a year later.

The ability to share and exchange flight information between the EUROCONTROL NM and DECEA was largely made possible due to support from NM’s Business-to-business (B2B) web service interface. By using B2B, both parties were able to send and receive flight plan activations as well as en-route updates. As such, real-time updates of approximately 100 flights between Europe and Brazil as well as their departure times and other trajectory information are now being exchanged between the operational systems of NM and DECEA on the major traffic flows between Europe and Brazil.

This latest development brings with it a huge benefit – flight data exchange between the two bodies will bring substantial advantages to the predictability of these traffic flows, as well as provide much more accurate information. ATM predictability is a major enabler of capacity, and air traffic control centres and airports will directly benefit from the receipt of updated trajectory information.

Not only do the EUROCONTROL NM and DECEA’s collaborative efforts increase shared information between Europe and Brazil, they also further the goals of EUROCONTROL’s Collaborative Global ATFM concept and the ICAO GANP, Global Air Navigation Plan, which emphasise the need for global interoperability of information as well as the seamless management of major traffic flows across ATM regions.