19.01.2018.

The 21st Century ASM Tool – Web-Based AMC PORTAL

The 21st Century ASM Tool – Web-Based AMC PORTAL A need for new means of communication between airspace users and the Airspace Management (ASM) organization arose with the implementation of the Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA). The Airspace Use Plan / Updated Airspace Use Plan (AUP/UUP) messages are obligatory for all airspace users just as much as NOTAMs are, but nonetheless it has been noticed that many airspace users do not understand where and how to read them and what they imply about safety while conducting airspace activities.

In order to take a step forward into the future and apply the dynamics of ASM data (AUP/UUP, NOTAM) publishing which would correspond to the users’ needs, to implement the Advanced Flexible Use of Airspace (AFUA), it was necessary to enable the airspace users to inform themselves clearly and unambiguously about the airspace restrictions in real time.

The new, untraditional, and numerous airspace users should not be forgotten too, since their time is on the horizon, and they, generally speaking, know very little about the rules of airspace usage and air traffic operations.

The mentioned observations and issues come into sight especially in the lower and uncontrolled airspace, which is per se complex from the perspective of arrival and departure procedures for aerodromes, and also there where the greatest number of RPAS/UAS operators and small airspace users are (general aviation, VFR flights, sporting and other activities, police, military, medical and firefighting flights), which contributes to the complexity of keeping all users safe.

Therefore, a working group in Croatia Control (CCL), consisting of ASM and IT experts, decided to develop a tool which would enable direct communication between all airspace users and the ASM organization, as well as publishing all relevant information in real time and in a simple way, appropriate for the time we live in – using information technology.

The main premise of the expert group was the idea of publishing all information available to the national ASM organization in real time and for all airspace users, in a simple and clear way, which would contribute to raising the awareness and safety levels of all airspace users.

What is the AMC Portal?

The AMC Portal is an ASM web tool which provides relevant information to all airspace users in real time, as they become available to the ASM organization, thus giving the users an opportunity of making reservations of airspace by directly submitting a request and communicating with the ASM organization.

The tool is adjusted for usage on most computers and mobile devices, with a special emphasis put on smartphones and tablets (Android, iOS).

Functionalities of the AMC Portal

The AMC Portal is a centralized web tool for ASM designed for all airspace users who want to be informed of the current status of airspace and the planned airspace activities in the forthcoming period. It can be used not only to simply read relevant textual NOTAM and AUP/UUP messages but also to intuitively check the effect those textual messages have on different charts (satellite, VFR, IFR etc.) in 2D and 3D, as well as for the users to quickly and effectively prepare themselves to conduct their own airspace activities.

The tool enabled direct communication with the ASM organization (with the Approved Agency (AA) and the Airspace Management Cell (AMC)) for all registered airspace users via an internal messaging system.

Via the AMC Portal, all registered users can submit their requests to the national ASM organization in accordance with the procedures set forth in the mandatory ASM Handbook to reserve and use airspace in a quick and easy way.

Following the prescribed deconfliction and negotiation procedure, the ASM organization issues a daily decision on the use of airspace to all airspace users.

Using internal messages brings a possibility of the small users quickly responding to the ASM organization’s requests at the tactical level in case of contingency and a need for an urgent termination of activities, which is a very good practice for the RPAS/UAS operators, and another way of putting safety first while taking into account user needs and requests.

Along with the aforementioned functionalities, the AMC Portal is envisaged as a place of gathering the aviation community in the broadest sense, including the new airspace users – the RPAS/UAS operators, where all of them can also obtain general information, announcements of important events, an overview of the relevant aviation legislation, educational material and other useful materials.

Behind a part of the portal accessible to airspace users (registered and unregistered), there are control modules of the relevant aviation services in charge of airspace management and use, which enable the relevant operators a quick access to the user requests, analysis and other data required for decision-making for the approval of user activities in accordance with the principles and procedures of ASM and FUA.

All relevant services needed to issue an approval can be found in one place, which facilitated a fast analysis of user request and the issuing of required approvals to conduct the planned activities in a safe manner.

Gathering all relevant services in a single place allowed better monitoring of user activities, particularly of the RPAS/UAS activities.
The introduction of the AMC Portal enabled the implementation of the FUA principles and the ASM procedures for the new, rapidly growing, airspace users – the RPAS/UAS operators and their activities.

Conclusion

The AMC Portal, as a powerful ASM tool, enabled the introduction of the advanced flexible use of airspace. It went a step further by encompassing the RPAS/UAS airspace activities, which enabled their safe performance by simultaneously increasing the safety of all other traditional airspace users.

Its modular design and the philosophy of further development which focuses on recognizing and fulfilling the users’ needs are a guarantee of its indispensable role in the performance of airspace activities and the fulfillment of requests put in front of the airspace management organizations in the 21st century.

Visit us at https://amc.crocontrol.hr/en-gb/