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Tackling civil-military aspects of radio frequency congestion, GNSS interference, A-PNT and other hot CNS topics

The members of the EUROCONTROL’s Civil-Military CNS Focus Group at our Brussels headquarters.

EUROCONTROL’s Civil-Military CNS Focus Group brings civil and military actors together to coordinate on communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) matters and work towards promoting harmonised civil-military technical guidance.

Modernising the communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS) infrastructure supporting the European Air Traffic Management Network is essential, and has a major impact on civil-military aviation. The hottest CNS topics regarding civil-military interoperability currently, according to EUROCONTROL’s Civil-Military CNS Focus Group (CNS FG), are 1030/1090 MHz RF congestion, GNSS interference, A-PNT, Performance-Based Navigation (PBN), SWIM, avionics equipage and Performance Equivalence for military aircraft.

21 March 2019 saw the CNS FG meet for the 29th time at EUROCONTROL’s Brussels headquarters, with participants from national military organisations, the European Defence Agency (EDA), NATO, air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and industry discussing the following hot topics

  • 1030/1090 MHz RF environment: radio frequency congestion risks are high and are impacting safety. The CNS FG noted that military are users of the band, and concluded that good practices must be disseminated, with a need to prepare guidance.
  • GNSS interference: here the CNS FG noted that a huge number of outage events were reported by pilots in 2018. The Group noted that civil-military coordination can play a key role in this area. Guidance is also to be developed in this domain.
  • Alternative Positioning Navigation and Timing (A-PNT): This was thoroughly discussed, with EUROCONTROL, DFS (Deutsche Flugsicherung), DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt) and EDA presenting different aspects and initiatives related to A-PNT. Opportunities for synergies and cooperation were identified in this domain to ensure that military requirements are adequately considered.
  • Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material (AMC/GM) on PBN: These have recently been published, and the CNS FG examined the likely impact upon the military and coordination initiatives.
  • Performance Equivalence: NATO provided an update on the progress of the tri-Agency (EUROCONTROL, NATO and EDA) activities on performance equivalence for military aircraft.

The group was updated on the status of tasks arising from previous decisions of the Military ATM Board (MAB) on PBN and SWIM. The resulting draft deliverables will now be submitted to the CNS FG consultation.

EUROCONTROL also reported on progress regarding updating the Roadmap on Enhanced Civil-Military CNS Interoperability and Technology Convergence (Edition 2.0). The next edition is due to be submitted for stakeholder consultation by July 2019, with the goal of obtaining endorsement by the MAB by October 2019.

About the Civil Military CNS Focus Group

Since its creation, the CNS FG has been providing advice to the Agency regarding military requirements to be reflected in the full range of EUROCONTROL CNS activities including the development of civil-military CNS technical guidance and roadmaps, contributions to SESAR, to EASA rule-making tasks and specialised support to national military authorities, other international organisations such as ICAO, EDA, and NATO, and other stakeholders.

The Group acts as a technical sounding board to discuss and promote harmonised civil-military technical guidance, in the area of ground and airborne CNS technical enablers used for ATM. The Group pursues the objective of facilitating higher levels of integration of military systems within the European ATM Network through enhanced levels of civil-military and military-military systems interoperability and longer term convergence between civil and military technologies. As such, the Group serves as a platform to share technical CNS information with its stakeholders, helping the Agency identify and evaluate the feasibility of research and development areas, to identify the best technical approaches to sustain deployment initiatives, and to determine the best technical solutions to accommodate the national defence and security requirements within the EATMN.