A significant step forward for the European AIS database (EAD)

17 May 2017

On 31 March 2017, the Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) announced that they will replace their Briefing System (DIAS) with the EAD Briefing Facility.

This decision marks a significant step forward for EAD, the world’s largest Aeronautical Information System. EAD is a centralised reference database designed as a single source for aeronautical data needs, providing quality-assured aeronautical information for airspace users, and an integrated AIS solution for service providers.

The Briefing Facility allows ATS Reporting Offices (AROs) to handle Flight Plans (FPLs) and related information in an integrated manner. The EAD Service in general is used by 44 European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) area States plus 8 States outside ECAC (AISPs), out of which 21 States (AROs) are using the EAD Briefing Facility, while another 7 States are in the migration process.  At present, EAD has 243 clients and more than 25,000 subscribed internet users.

By switching to the EAD system, DFS will save the development and maintenance costs for a new DFS internal system as well as needing less own resources for an updated AIM service.  A major benefit is also the simplified approval process of all system changes through their National Supervisory Authority (NSA), since the EAD System has since December 2016 been certified by EASA. Since this point, all system updates are officially deployed with a Letter of Acceptance from EASA.    

The tests done with DFS represent the first time that this type of operational reference test has been performed on EAD’s back-end systems. The tests convincingly demonstrated the stability and performance of the EAD system, with the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) defining the EAD Performance Model Baseline (PMP) either met or exceeded.

With the help of workload generators, the maximum load of NOTAMs, AIP production (PAMS), Static Data Operations (SDO), plus the expected DFS usage and a safety margin of 10%, were merged into a fictional peak day.

The testing also has brought key benefits to EAD and future adopters of its functionalities. The test scenarios and procedures developed for the DFS tests will be transformed, together with the lessons learned, into a new Test Management Plan. This Test Management Plan will be the basis for all future operational reference tests, as part of the EAD Release Management and Migration Management Processes. The execution of these standardised test scenarios will allow the comparison of KPIs against the results achieved during previous test executions (EAD Performance Model Baseline). This will guarantee the performance and stability of the EAD system for the future, which is very much in the interest of our stakeholders and clients.

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