Written by: Oliver Scigel, Aerodrome Operations Specialist, NG Aviation

Immediate access to accurate aeronautical information plays a crucial role in the life cycle of every aerodrome. Airside operations share multiple types of information with its critical stakeholders via several distribution channels. Variety of different systems used by various departments and lack of their interoperability are often a cause of information overload at Airport Operation Comand Centers (AOCC). With the availability of digital information of the airside, new data sharing principles comes along – the Single Source Of Truth. The concept represents immediately available, centralized storage of past, actual and future information for all aerodrome departments and stakeholders, delivering the right information to the right people on the ground. The principle of using digital data as a source of this unified information has multiple advantages. Here are only some of many pointed out by NG AVIATION company that focuses on aeronautical information digitization and digital transition of key civil aviation stakeholders.

Traceability of information in digital data environment – all data contains information about every change of status, including the origination, change, update, or any other modification. Each specific part of the digital data has its own ‘history’, which plays an indispensable role for audits or investigations or simple history overview.

Quality of the digital data – the first step to a high-quality digital data is information validation by specific exchange model data quality rules (for example the AIXM 5.1), which ensures that the data fulfils expected requirements and specifications. Secondly, the data can be (is) validated and verified by (one or multiple parts of) the information exchange chain. Such validation ensures data quality requirements and together with traceability of the information ensures the non-corruption of the created data, limiting human-made errors.

Time-crossing information of the digital data – sharing of information covering the historical, actual, and future aspect (time-crossing information) between aerodrome and its departments, as well as an aerodrome and critical partners or authorities is crucial for aerodrome operations. With digital data sharing, all information, with short or long-term character are available. With all this data at hand, the aerodrome operator is able to evaluate and predict the situation at the airside faster and better. Thus, significantly improving the process of safety/ critical decision making.

Future planning with digital data – digital aeronautical data with association with digital NOTAM is determining the short-term planning at the aerodrome and offer significant support for the airside operation centres and their decision making processes. The possibility to visualize digital NOTAMs changes and temporal changes that are to be published in the future gives increases of the aerodrome effectivity and A-CDM processes. It also lowers the probability of inadequate decisions and significantly boosts the operation capacity of the AOCC operations. The AIRAC and non-AIRAC changes in the form of digital information can improve long-term planning, e.g. maintenance or long-term temporal closure of movement/manoeuvring area. Aerodrome together with critical partners, can predict and analyze the future situational impact at the aerodrome from the available digital data, taking into account the impact on the operability and capacity of the aerodrome.

Shared situational awareness – the actual aeronautical information in digital format can be easily distributed to all personnel involved in airside operations via desktop or smart device. Interaction and direct feedback from the airside operations concerning the operability and status of aerodrome infrastructure (e.g. movement area contamination, light systems operational status, etc.) creates a complex flow of real-time information and provides a shared situational awareness not only for the airside operations but also for the operations control centre and high management of the aerodrome including all its partners.

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