Aeronautical data management

Effective decisions could not be made without a central and permanently updated view of European airspace.

To achieve this common view, all 42 countries which form part of EUROCONTROL's area of operations send us their airspace and aeronautical data through centralised systems dedicated to this task.

Data available

Airspace data and Aeronautical data - read below for more information.

Consolidated view

This airspace and aeronautical data is used to create a four-dimensional picture of the airspace structure. This model is used to validate airspace changes in the operational planning phase.

Towards Aeronautical Information Management AIM

Under the umbrella of the pan-European system design approach, the ATM Architecture & Information Management activities in EUROCONTROL focus on the development and support to implementation of a digital, reliable and cost-efficient information environment for the whole of ATM. The overall objective is to establish a network-centric information environment in Europe, also known as the System Wide Information Management (SWIM).

Airspace data

We manage the airspace data necessary to perform our operations by creating, verifying and updating a central system: the Central Airspace and Capacity Database (CACD).

The airspace data information consists of:

  • Static data such as air traffic control (ATC) sector boundaries and air routes (for instance, the maximum capacity for each airport and air traffic control sector)
  • Dynamic data such as the default Air Traffic Control capacities (for instance, the number of runways available, availability of air traffic controllers…) and air-route availability based on military airspace usage.

Supporting the Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA) concept

The FUA concept allows airspace to be shared between civil and military users through enhanced coordination.

Joint civil/military Airspace Management Cells (AMCs) have been established by the States to underpin this coordination. AMCs conduct day-to-day airspace allocation and management in close cooperation with the Network Manager.

The counterpart of AMCs at network level is the Centralised Airspace Data Function (CADF), which is hosted by the Network Manager Operations Centre.

The role of CADF is to: 

  • collect the information from the AMC's Airspace Use Plans (AUPs)/Updated Airspace Use Plans (UUPs); it detects any lack of continuity in Conditional Routes (CDRs);
  • compile a consolidated European Airspace Use Plan (EAUP) and European Updated Airspace Use Plans (EUUPs) - to be published on the NOP Portal and in electronic Airspace Message Information (e-AMI) for those using the NM B2B service.

Feeding the Network Operations Systems

Both static and dynamic data flows are input into ETFMS and IFPS systems to provide a  constantly updated network view; they support the Air Traffic Flow and Capacity Management (ATFCM) activities.    

These data flows are also used by other EUROCONTROL services such as the Central Route Charges Office (CRCO) to establish unit rates and the cartography service. One of the latest on going developments is the integration of CACD’s airspace data with the Airspace Management (ASM) tools, such as LARA or STANLY (Statistics and Analysis)

Aeronautical data

The European Aeronautical Information System (AIS) Database (EAD) is the largest system of its type, a one-stop-shop service which is open 24 hours a day and accessible around the world. It offers instant access to the most up-to-date publications and digital aeronautical information from the ECAC area as well as Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) and Pre-flight Information Bulletins (PIBs).

How does EAD work?

EAD lets aeronautical information providers – such as AIS organisations from civil aviation authorities and air navigation service providers – enter and maintain their data in a central repository. In parallel, EAD enables data users – such as aircraft operators and private pilots – to retrieve and download AIS data from the system in real-time.