New EUROCONTROL guidelines to speed up Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) distribution on the Internet
Over the last decade the amount of changes and updates to aeronautical information on such matters as airspace structure, aerodromes, services, CNS infrastructure has significantly increased. Data Services (DAT) providers are responsible for processing the changes and updates to aeronautical information from around the world for further inclusion in the airborne systems databases. The fact that Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) amendments from all around the world arrive by post in their offices (on paper, CD, etc.) 28 days as legally required before becoming effective puts enormous pressure on DAT providers to process them within a week prior to distribution to their intended users.
Faced with this situation, DAT providers have sought additional possibilities to extend this period by using the AIP amendments available through the Internet on the websites of aeronautical information services (AIS) providers before they are sent by post (i.e. 42 days before the effective date). However, this poses a key constraint, namely that most of the websites where AIS providers place such information contain, for various reasons, a disclaimer which does not allow the use of the provided aeronautical information for operational purposes.
At the request of DAT and AIS providers, EUROCONTROL created an Action Group involving AIS civil/military providers, regulators, ICAO, DAT providers and the industry with the objective of supporting the requirements of DAT providers, and assisting AIS providers in developing and adapting their systems for the distribution of State AIP on the Internet as an official and authoritative source of information.
The resulting EUROCONTROL Guidelines for AIP Distribution on the Internet are designed to be used by AIS providers when planning or assessing AIP distribution on the Internet, in order to ensure that these data are provided as an official/authoritative source of aeronautical information.
The document provides a series of options for implementation of processes in AIS systems as well as ways of mitigating the risks associated with certain identified threats, and additionally provides practical examples of application to specific AIS providers as ‘best practice’ material. These guidelines are not meant to be mandatory, and each AIS provider is free to select the options best suited to its needs, or define its own. For example, some may consider using other existing platforms to distribute their AIP on the Internet such as the EASA-certified EAD PAMS Pro which already includes in its processes all the requirements described in the Guidelines.