UK publishes first electronic Aeronautical Information Publication

31 May 2011

NATS, a global leader in innovative air traffic solutions and airport performance, has published the first electronic Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) Amendment, rendered entirely from digitally managed data.

The AIP, which is published every 28 days by NATS under the terms of our licence, is the authoritative guide for pilots which provides them with operational information on airspace and airfields in the UK.  Historically, updates to this compendium required the manual input of information, which was vulnerable to human error.

The May AIP Amendment, which is indistinguishable to the end user from traditionally-produced AIPs, was extracted from Nucleus, NATS’ centralised management system for managing and publishing critical aeronautical data.  The application uses a high degree of automation to update and publish information to ensure compliance with European regulatory standards, and flags up discrepancies in the data, all with minimal human intervention. This ensures all data, collected from a number of disparate sources, is handled accurately, is traceable and can be audited.

“The advantages of using Nucleus to produce AIPs are twofold” said Stefan Malan, NATS Head of Aeronautical Information Management, “First, we can be completely confident of the accuracy of the AIP, as it is published directly from the data without the risk of input error or corruption between disparate legacy systems.  Secondly, it has transformed a labour intensive monthly production process to a much more efficient data-centric rendering of data content, saving us countless man-hours historically spent editing documents.”

Nucleus has been in operation since last October, running in tandem with the existing AIS (Aeronautical Information Systems) it has now replaced. “Although we didn’t expect to encounter any issues with the deployment of Nucleus, it’s nonetheless very pleasing to see such a revolutionary tool perform exactly as we’d hoped.” comments Stefan.

European legislation, through the Aeronautical Data Quality Implementing Rule – or ADQIR –  mandates that all European Air Navigation Service Providers must implement a robust data management system by 2017.  Phase One of this implementation process must be completed by 2013 or ANSPs face prosecution under European law, in addition to the risk of reduced safety standards.

With Nucleus, NATS is well ahead of the curve of European legislation and realising real benefits of automated, verified information storage.  Nucleus has been developed specifically to meet these new requirements and is the only managed service on the market today that can enable compliance.

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