TOKAI: a free, well-supported web-based app for the entire safety investigation process

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EUROCONTROL’s tool-kit for ATM occurrence investigation (TOKAI) is now being used by over 60 air navigation service providers worldwide - for excellent reasons.

TOKAI - the Tool-kit for ATM occurrence investigation - is a web-based application, which helps air navigation service providers (ANSPs) manage the entire air traffic safety incident investigation process: notification, investigation, storage, analysis and reporting (both internally and externally). An added benefit is that TOKAI users automatically comply with EU Regulations, in particular Regulation No 376/2014 on reporting occurrences in civil aviation and Regulation No 390/2014 on performance.

TOKAI is a one-stop-shop for complying with these regulations - which placed a significant degree of responsibility on ANSPs - and is probably the main reason for the massive uptake of the tool. It is certainly not the only one. The fact that it is free for European users (EUROCONTROL pays for the development and administration costs) may be equally attractive. Another appealing feature is that the development is steered by users so they get what they really want.

The application has a user-management system and allows any user in an organisation to be allocated to a specific role, such as investigator, viewer, administrator, reporter, etc. There is a large degree of flexibility in defining these roles and there is practically no limit to drawing up the reporting and investigation templates. People fill in these templates with their data, which are then stored in a database. Investigators can then use this information to make further statistical analyses and create periodic or individual reports. These reports can be sent to management, exchanged with the State authority or with a partnering ANSP.

There are more than 60 ANSPs using TOKAI but no two installations, two templates or reports are alike. This proves how flexible TOKAI is in allowing users to customise it.

EUROCONTROL developed the application together with a small software company in Romania, which made the production process very cost-effective.

We offer two solutions. Small- to medium-sized ANSPs usually opt for the TOKAI solution hosted at EUROCONTROL, allowing them to save on administration costs (we do part of the administration of the tool with no charge for European and an annual fee for global users) and to use the tool as an online service. There are no administration costs for European users and we charge an annual fee for other users. Larger ANSPs, who have the infrastructure and labour to maintain the TOKAI at their own site are provided the full software package.

Our European customers include DFS, ENAV, Austro Control, NAVIAIR, Belgocontrol, MALTA ATS and FerroNATS with NATS and DSNA soon to join. Globally, TOKAI is used by ATNS South Africa, Airways NZ, CAAS Singapore and AEROTHAI Thailand. The FAA has been a contributor and tester, but uses a version of their own.

We are currently busy with finalising the delivery and installation of the tool for CAAS Singapore and AEROTHAI Thailand. We are also setting up training sessions for their staff to learn how best to use it. These two ANSPs are controlling two major aviation hubs in South-East Asia. Anyone flying to or from Australia, for instance, would pass through Singapore, Bangkok or Hong Kong and, as it happens, Hong Kong has recently indicated an interest in TOKAI, too: watch this space for updates!