More, faster, better: digitalisation in ATM

21 March 2017
Digitalisation is changing business the world over. ATM - and Europe’s Network Manager (NM) - are part of this new wave: digital interfaces are transforming the way we all work. At NM, we have found that they give us better data quality, timeliness of data exchange and considerable workload reduction.
On 13-14 March 2017, NM held the fourth edition of its business-to-business technical forum for the air traffic management technical community. 115 participants from 65 different organisations were there to learn first-hand about this, the fastest growing service in the NM portfolio. Business managers and software developers were given more information on how to leverage NM data through NM’s B2B Web Services application programming interface (API).
'From innovation to industrialisation' was the forum’s theme. It focused on:
  • developments needed to cope with SWIM exchanges
  • service management developments to serve our users better
  • new features and business services provided by NM releases
  • the NM B2B web services roadmap.

Areas addressed ranged from system scalability and serviceability to NM’s proposed dedicated Product Engineering Team and a Users’ Community for vocalising issues on behalf of all users.

Participants called for improvements to the current support base. They want help when new services are launched in their operational environments; they want improved support for service monitoring and problem management. They all agreed on the necessity of balancing control and speedy innovation when standards and governance are in question.
“I believe that we have reached a stage when we have fully demonstrated the value and benefits of technical and operational enablers for both the performance of NM and the network as a whole,” declared Jean-Pierre Aiguier, Head of Network Technical Systems, at the close of the forum.
“The focus will now be on consolidating our existing portfolio and building a solid technical foundation so that we can cope with exponential increases in information flows. In 2016, we doubled traffic on these interfaces. These days, five times more information is delivered via system interfaces than is done manually by humans,” he added.
NM’s B2B services are an enabler for the digital transformation that European air traffic management is currently undergoing. Not only is this digital transformation a pivotal strategic initiative for the network, it is also essential for meeting the Pilot Common Project Implementing Rule deadlines.

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