In an important step toward a more integrated and responsive global air traffic management (ATM) system, the ICAO Council, during its ongoing 213th Session, has adopted a new amendment to Annex 15 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) covering Aeronautical Information Services.
ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu highlighted that the new Amendment 40 to Annex 15 “sets an important milestone as aviation continues its current transition toward System Wide Information Management (SWIM) environments for modern aviation. This latest decision by the ICAO Council will now enable global air transport operations to complete the transition from product-centric and paper-based aeronautical information services (AIS) legacy processes, to a fully data-centric aeronautical information management (AIM) environment for global civil aviation.”
Amendment 40 to Annex 15 defines the minimum data scope for interoperable digital data exchanges, strengthens the importance of quality controls along the aeronautical data process and supports the integration of modern aeronautical information products (digital data sets) that allow for automatic validation and verification procedures as well minimize the necessity of human intervention. It will also enable new capabilities to airspace users, consistent with the ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan.
“Better aeronautical information is essential if we are to have an integrated and interoperable ATM system which enables air navigation service providers to safely handle more traffic in the same amount of space during the same amount of time,” President Aliu added. “It’s expected this new development will accelerate current transitions toward a global ATM capability which reduces costs and environmental impacts while improving access to congested airspace and remote airports in developing countries.”
The impact of the new technical changes on ICAO Member States and industry is expected to be minimal. The amendment allows States and industry to set their own pace to migrate their systems and services.
“The Council has appreciated that this important transition can be accomplished through a phased-approach that facilitates returns on investment and ensures that a solid foundation is available prior to the move to more advanced techniques,” President Aliu stressed. “This will result in overall economic gains for States and operators by improving aeronautical information management through a faster, quality-controlled, and cost-effective exchange of data.”
An effective date of July 2018 for the new Annex 15 changes was adopted, and a proposed applicability date of 8 November 2018 was agreed for the related implementation.