Aeronautical Telecommunication Network using the Internet Protocol Suite

The modernisation of the communication network infrastructure is requiring major improvements, mainly due to technology evolution. The communication standards are evolving and will require more cooperation at European and international level for an efficient exchange of data at network level that will bring benefit while reducing overall costs.

To evolve into a rich information management environment means to have the capability to exchange information. This implies the exchange of any type of ATM related information ground/ground, or air/ground, between systems or organizations, which will require the need to be supported by an adequate corresponding technical network infrastructure managed through effective service contracts.

The following activities are performed by the Network Manager Directorate to administer the network common resources:

IPv6

Effective coordination of IPv6 assignments to ensure the ATM Communication services migration over the Internet Protocol

European ATM Network infrastructure relies on Internet Protocol global and regional governance activities.  These activities goals are to protect the way the Internet community functions, but at the same time to support governments and provide them with all the information they need to make informed decisions about the Internet. EUROCONTROL has a central role to play for European ATM Network infrastructure migration from legacy systems towards the Internet Protocol, being the Local Internet Registry (LIR) for the IPv6 assignments for its Member States. 

The migration of existing ATM Network Communications services (FMTP, AMHS, Voice over IP) over the Internet Protocol requires a coordinated allocation of IPv6 address space and Autonomous System (AS) Numbers.

The role of  Directorate Network Manager is to provide the IPv6 Assignements for IPv6 address space and Autonomous System (AS) Numbers for ANSPs, to coordinates with the European Regional Internet Registry ( RIPE) and to maintain the IP allocation database. The Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation that supports the infrastructure of the Internet through technical coordination in its service region. The role of ANSPs is to manage national IPv6 assignments for IPv6 address space and Autonomous System (AS) Numbers.

AGVN

Effective coordination of  ATM Ground Voice Network (AGVN) addressing and numbering plan ranges

The effective coordination for ATM Ground Voice Network (AGVN) addressing and numbering plan ranges is done through the operation of an online AGVN database.  The AGVN database is a key element in the evolution to a European- wide network environment. It is the repository of current ATM voice systems numbering plan and will contain VoIP addressing information as the transition progresses. The AGVN  on-line database had already proved to be an essential enabler for the FAB’s ATM voice services implementation.

The AGVN database is a Network Management tool to administrate current numbering ranges in support of a controlled migration towards VoIP addressing. It also provides ICAO EUR States and ICAO European Air Navigation Planning Group (EANPG) detailed information on the current ATM Voice situation in Europe. The Service is provided on behalf of ICAO.

While the Addressing/Numbering Plan is a Network Management tool to administrate current numbering ranges in support of a controlled migration towards VoIP addressing, the Connectivity/Implementation monitoring tool provides ICAO EUR States and ICAO European Air Navigation Planning Group (EANPG) detailed information on the current ATM Voice situation in Europe.

Legacy voice systems: ATS-R2, ATS Number 5 analogue signalling systems and ATS-QSIG are using the Ground Voice Network Numbering plan comprising of 6-digits ( ref: ICAO Doc 9804 Manual on Air Traffic Services (ATS) Ground-Ground Voice Switching and Signalling) in accordance to ICAO DOC 9804 - ICAO Manual on ATS Ground-Ground Voice Switching and Signalling, Chapter 2 Section 2.3.

In January 2010 ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Office (Paris) issued a State Letter requesting ICAO EUR States to use the EUROCONTROL FMTP and AGVN databases for supplying connectivity details on  ATS On Line Data Interchange (OLDI) and ATS Direct Speech networks.

The provided States information is used for regular updates of the Supplement Tables AFS-2 and AFS-3 of Part IV CNS of the ICAO EUR Air Navigation Plan ( DOC 7754).

The Role of Directorate Network Manager is to provide (VoIP) assignements (IP and SIP addressing) and Legacy voice systems numbering ranges for the European ATM Ground Voice Network while the role of ANSPs is to manage national assigned numbering ranges and VoIP assignements by ATM units and to allocate terminal assignments.

FMTP

Effective coordination of FMTP addressing

The Single European Sky (SES) Flight Message Transfer Protocol (FMTP) Implementing Rule is published as EC Regulation No. 633/2007 and supplemented by FMTP.

Specification FMTP is recognised as a Community Specification supporting the Implementing Rule.

The effective coordination for FMTP migration is ensured through the operation of the FMTP online database.  The FMTP database is a means for stakeholders to share and have better visibility of the implementation status of the Flight Message Transfer Protocol. Within the database each ATC unit that implements FMTP is represented as single entity with a description of contact points, technical capabilities, supported OLDI messages and communication links with peers.

The role of Directorate Network Manager is to manage and develop the FMTP online database and provide ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Office (Paris) and EUROCONTROL SES directorate with appropriate Reports.

Flight Message Transfer Protocol (FMTP). EUROCONTROL Guideline Flight Message Transfer Protocol has been developed to support critical Air Traffic Control (ATC) data exchanges over TCP/IPv6. The EUROCONTROL Specification FMTP is recognised as a Community Specification supporting the Implementing Rule. During the transition period from FDE ICD Part 1 to FMTP, Eurocontrol will continue to provide support to stakeholders making use of the FDE ICD Part 1 which can be found below.

EUROCONTROL Inter Centre Test Tool (ETIC). ETIC is a test tool that allows technical staff to verify their implementations of the Flight Message Transfer Protocol and the FDE ICD Part 1. It comes with a manual and test plan. The ETIC version 2.1 only supports the FDE ICE Part 1, whereas version ETIC version 3.0 supports both protocols.

PENS

Pan European Network System (PENS)

PEN is an IP based network communications infrastructure being created to support Air Traffic Management (ATM). This deployment activity follows the former iPAX Task Force.

This infrastructure has been identified as being necessary to most effectively support future service needs:

  • the need to replace obsolescent X.25 based networking by industry standard IP network services;

  • the need to support ATM X.25 applications being migrated to IP;

  • the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements for the introduction of Air Traffic Services (ATS) Message Handling System (AMHS) in place of Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network (AFTN), which depends on an underlying "Europe" wide IP infrastructure.

Read more about PENS

Docs

Documents

  • EUROCONTROL specification of interoperability and performance requirements for FMTP (pdf)
    Released: 14/06/2007 Edition: 2.0
    This EUROCONTROL Specification defines the minimum set of technical interoperability and performance requirements of a solution compliant with the FMTP implementing rule. This EUROCONTROL specification has been recognised as a Community Specification (CS) after a positive opinion of the Single Sky Committee and after publication of the specification’s reference in the Official Journal of the European Union.

  • EUROCONTROL Guidelines for Implementation Support (EGIS) - Flight Message Transfer Protocol (FMTP) (pdf)
    Released: 12/12/2008 Edition: 2.0
    This implementation guideline has been prepared in support of FMTP TCP/IP data communications interface for the exchange of flight-related data messages between Area Control Centres (ACCs)

  • Flight Data Exchange Interface Control Document (FDE ICD) - Part 1
    Released Issue: 01/09/1998  Edition: 1.0
    This Eurocontrol Standard Document specifies an X.25 data communications interface for the exchange of flight-related data messages between Area Control Centres (ACCs).

  • EUROCONTROL Guidelines for Implementation Support (EGIS) - Surveillance Distribution over IP Multicast Profile Requirement List (PRL)
    Released Issue: 15/03/2007 Edition: 2.0
    This implementation guideline has been prepared in order to specify transmitters and receivers making use of Internet Protocol (IP) multicast for surveillance data distribution. This implementation guide is presented in the format of a Protocol Requirements List (PRL) to define which features of all referenced technical specifications and standards are mandatory and/or optional. It also provides a Protocol Implementation Conformance Statement (PICS) proforma in order for suppliers to state their conformance to the requirements.

  • Internet Protocol for Aeronautical Exchange Task Force (iPAX-TF) (zip)
    IPAX Deliverables (pdf)
    Released Issue: 22/02/2006
    The objective of the former iPAX-TF was to develop or modify guidelines, specifications and possibly aeronautical standards related to the exchange of data between ATS or CNS systems based on the TCP/IP protocol suite with the aim to propose an alternative for the eventual replacement of the X.25 protocol in ATS/CNS. In view of the existing IPv4 national or regional deployments and their non-interoperability, the iPAX-TF developped a solution combining both IPv4 and IPv6. The iPAX-TF concluded it's work in 2004.

More information

Links

Contact

Liviu Popescu

Georges Anastassiou

NMD/NS/CFC
EUROCONTROL