Advanced surface movement guidance and control system


An advanced-surface movement guidance and control system (A-SMGCS), conceptualised by EUROCONTROL, helps to improve airport throughput, whilst maintaining the required level of safety. By improving the way aircraft and vehicles are managed on the ground, it makes aerodrome surface movement operations more efficient in all weather conditions based on defined operational procedures.


The basic A-SMGCS consists of a surveillance service that provides the position, identification and tracking of mobiles.

In addition, the system can include:

  • Airport safety support service
    runway monitoring and conflict alerting (RMCA), conflicting air traffic control clearances (CATC) alerts, conformance monitoring alerts for controllers (CMAC).
  • Routing service
    generation of ground trajectories for mobiles.
  • Guidance service
    automated switching of taxiway centreline lights (TCL), automated switching of stop bars and automated activation of advanced-visual docking guidance systems (A-VDGS).


To the benefit of controllers, the A-SMGCS provides:

  • a representation of the actual aerodrome traffic on a display, independent of line-of-sight connection between the controller and the mobile;
  • the position and identity of all cooperative mobiles, within the coverage volume independent of visibility conditions and the controller’s line of sight;
  • support to prevent collisions between all aircraft and vehicles especially in conditions when visual contact cannot be maintained;
  • detection and indication of the position of potential intruders;
  • improved all-round management of traffic.

Implementation support

The A-SMGCS services have been developed and validated by EUROCONTROL and air traffic management (ATM) partners - as a result, we detailed a specification to support implementation. In addition, we provide several supporting services to ensure a harmonised implementation of such systems across the European air traffic management network.


Interested in learning more about the A-SMGCS? The EUROCONTROL A-SMGCS service specification 171 describes the services and associated operational requirements in detail.


To help aviation industry representatives develop solutions based on the A-SMGCS, EUROCONTROL also provides training to help guide stakeholders and explain the specification in detail. For more information and to register for a training session, please go to our Learning Zone.

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Transmission of A-SMGCS Data

At EUROCONTROL, we have produced a document in support of our stakeholders that describes the message structure for the transmission of A-SMGCS data.


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