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Increased network capacity, better civil-military coordination and more efficient Air Mobility through iOAT, the improved Operational Air Traffic flight plan

banner of IOAT FPL

The improved Operational Air Traffic flight plan (iOAT FPL) just deployed by EUROCONTROL in partnership with civil and military experts from Belgium, France and Germany allows military flight plan processing, across national boundaries,  in a harmonised way – an important civil-military coordination measure at a time of heightened tension across the European Air Traffic Management network.

For the first time, iOAT FPLs can be received, processed, and distributed by the EUROCONTROL Network Manager (NM) systems in a centralised manner, significantly benefiting both civil and military operational stakeholders. Equally, the three pilot States are deploying iOAT FPLs at national level.

iOAT FPLs are important for the network. With Russia’s war against Ukraine continuing and available airspace reduced, improved civil-military coordination is crucially important to maintain efficient, sustainable air traffic flows in Europe. EUROCONTROL is at the centre of this coordination between the civil and military operational stakeholders of its Member States, and is fully committed to improving the performance of the European ATM network. Widespread iOAT FPL deployment will improve the network’s predictability and safety while contributing to more efficient military air mobility across Europe.

Participants to a celebratory event on iOAT FPL with civil and military representatives from Belgium, France and Germany the European Commission, NATO, European Defence Agency, US Air Force and EUROCONTROL

The iOAT FPL is a critical element developed under SESAR – the European partnership to accelerate through research and innovation the delivery of the Digital European Sky. Once fully rolled out across Europe, iOAT FPL will harmonise procedures for the cross-border transit of aircraft, including remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and training and test flights which do not comply with all standard IFR rules.

Starting from EUROCONTROL Guidelines for a harmonised and improved OAT FPL implementation, approved by the Network Management Board, the members of the iOAT Focus Group led by EUROCONTROL have worked together to define the requirements for the EUROCONTROL NM and air navigation service provider  ANSP) system capabilities against the individual national requirements of the pilot States.

Existing technologies and systems were used for the initial implementation, which meant that there was no need for a major additional investment. In addition, deployment of the iOAT FPL does not prevent States from continuing to use the national OAT FPL format as before.

Next steps

Future activities of the iOAT Focus Group will aim at widespread and harmonised implementation of the iOAT FPL across ECAC States, and development and consolidation of iOAT FPL requirements into iNM, the next generation of the EUROCONTROL Network Manager’s operational systems.

Learn more

Learn more about the iOAT FPL on our dedicated project page!

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