TPM Review – ATS (Major Edits)

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TPM Review – ATS (Major Edits)

61ST ANNUAL CONFERENCE, 23-27 May 2022

WP No. 61

TPM Review – ATS (Major Edits)

Presented by TOC

 

Summary

The ATS section of the Technical Professional Manual is robust in policies and some of them need updating. These updates range from small grammar fixes to major overhaul or deletion.

Introduction

1.1. Within the ATS section of the TPM there are policies and references that date back 30 years up to the present and some need minor edits whereas others need a major overhaul, or in some cases deletion.

1.2. Edits must also be made to ensure continuity and harmonization of word usage.

1.3. This section of the TPM featured many introductions or policies that read as definitions and are better suited for the Acronyms and Terms section of the TPM.

Discussion

2.1. ATS 3.1 – Replacement Flight Plans.

2.1.1. This policy states that ICAO should review the topic as soon as possible, which was written about 30 years ago.

2.1.2. The heart of the issue does remain the same and altered flight plans or portions thereof, should be easily identifiable by ATCOs.

2.1.3. The current version of policy uses the words “control personnel” which is not a term defined within the Acronyms and Terms section of the TPM. To be consistent with the defined words used within the TPM, it is proposed to change the phrase to ATCOs.

2.1.4. The tie into the Alpha-Numeric Callsigns policy, TPM COM 4.1, seems to be only loosely related and therefore does not need to remain in the policy listing.

2.1.5. Due to the ICAO 2012 flight plan changes and plans to implement FF-ICE, this policy is rapidly becoming outdated and it is suggested for a full policy review in next year’s programme.

IFATCA TPM (2019), ATS 3.1 – Replacement Flight Plans
Proposal:

ICAO should review, as soon as possible, world-wide procedures and systems for amending or replacing flight plans or flight plan information, to ensure that such system and procedures exist, and that amended or replacement flight plans, or portions thereof, are easily identifiable to control personnel ATCOs. 

Related IFATCA Policy: Alpha-Numeric Callsigns 

 

2.2. ATS 3.2 – Clearances.

2.2.1. Following the first paragraph of policy, there should be a note to reference Document 9694 Chapter 3, 3.3-3.5, Chapter 8. This details the ADS application functions and establishment and operation of a demand contract.

OPERATING METHOD

3.3 The ADS application comprises the following functions:
a) establishment and operation of a demand contract;
b) establishment and operation of an event contract;
c) establishment and operation of a periodic contract;
d) cancellation of contract(s);
e) establishment and operation of emergency mode;
f) modification of the emergency mode; and
g) cancellation of the emergency mode.

ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF A DEMAND CONTRACT

3.4 The demand contract provides the capability for a ground system to request a single ADS report from an aircraft and specify which optional ADS data is required (if any) in addition to the basic ADS report.

3.5 Any number of demand contracts may be sequentially established with an aircraft.

ICAO Document 9694 Chapter 3, 3.3-3.5

2.2.2. This policy does require updates beyond what is covered above and is therefore suggested for inclusion in the upcoming TOC working programme.

IFATCA TPM (2019), ATS 3.2 – Clearances
Proposal:

Where Downstream Clearance capability is provided via Data Link, sufficient safeguards must be implemented in accordance with the ICAO Doc 9694 Manual of Air Traffic Services Data Link Applications, First Edition 1999.

Also see: Document 9694 Chapter 3, 3.3-3.5, Chapter 8

 

2.3. ATS 3.5 – Provision of Operational Aeronautical Information.

2.3.1. The first line, or the list header, is in need of minor edit for clarification. This line, “States should establish a common aeronautical information database containing,” is proposed to change “States” to “ANSPs and States” since not only states administrate these databases.

2.3.2. The numbering is off in the first list and features a 1 before the list header. The numbers should be deleted. In order to maintain a gender-neutral language as much as possible throughout the document, it is proposed to remove “Notices to Airmen” and keep only “NOTAM”.

2.3.3. The second paragraph. “Operational and technical status data which could be used by air navigation services systems for the efficient handling of aeronautical information and operational flight information,” should be moved to the bottom of the list rather than a standalone topic.

2.3.4. The final paragraph cites systems that should be implemented, but these plans appear to be out of date, and it is proposed for deletion. For further reading regarding this matter see ICAO Annex 10, volume II, chapter 4.1. CIDIN and AFTN systems are being transitioned into the ATN architecture.

2.3.5. Finally, a minor change is altering the numerical nature of the list to a set of bullet points due to the list not requiring to be in order.

IFATCA TPM (2019), ATS 3.5 – Provision of Operational Aeronautical Information
Proposal:

1. ANSPs and States should establish a common aeronautical information database containing:

  • 2. Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs);
  • 3. Aeronautical information Publication Data;
  • 4. Meteorological data;
  • Operational and technical status data which could be used by air navigation services systems for the efficient handling of aeronautical information and operational flight information.

Such systems should utilise an improved AFTN system such as the Common ICAO Data Interchange Network (CIDIN) and should be implemented as soon as possible. To enable maximum use to be mad e of the data base the AFTN should be extended into those areas of the air navigation services systems which are not at present connected to it. 

 

2.4. ATS 3.6 – Air Traffic Flow Management – Adherence.

2.4.1. The first of the amendments to the policy are within the sentence, “In the EUR region ATFM utilises departure slot times as a means of regulating air traffic and that when a departure slot time is used, the time should be passed to the ATC unit at the departure airfield.” This policy dates back to 1991 and departure slots are used in a variety of ANSPs around the world so the wording should be less Eurocentric. Proposed revision is, “When a departure slot time is used, the time should be passed to the ATC unit at the departure airfield.”

2.4.2. The second sentence, “It is the responsibility of the aircraft operator to be ready for departure to meet the assigned ATFM departure slot”, can be worded more strongly and concisely. The suggested revision of this sentence is, “The aircraft operator should be ready for departure to meet the assigned ATFM departure slot.”

2.4.3. The final amendment to the policy is in the final statement, “Civil Aviation administrations pursue with the utmost vigour those operators who consistently fail to comply with ATFM measures.” The word “should” needs to be included before pursue to show intent for the Civil Aviation Administration. The reworded phrase would say, “Civil Aviation administrations should pursue with the utmost vigour those operators who consistently fail to comply with AFTM measures.”

IFATCA TPM (2019), ATS 3.6 – Air Traffic Flow Management – Adherence
Proposal:

IFATCA recognises the potentially dangerous situations that can arise when slot times are not adhered to.

In the EUR region ATFM utilises departure slot times as a means of regulating air traffic and that wWhen a departure slot time is used, the time should be passed to the ATC unit at the departure airfield.

It is the responsibility of the aircraft operator to The aircraft operator should be ready for departure to meet the assigned ATFM departure slot.

Civil Aviation administrations should pursue with the utmost vigour those operators who consistently fail to comply with ATFM measures.

 

2.5. ATS 3.10 – Global Compatible Flight Levels.

2.5.1. The first statement requires two changes, one grammatical and the other changing “should” to “shall” for harmonization with ICAO documents. “That a global solution should be developed using one system of flight level determination,” should be reworded to, “A global solution shall be developed using one system of flight level determination.”

2.5.2. A similar remedy is required within the remaining sentences to remove the word “that” at the start of each of them. To continue harmonization and readability, the word “shall” has been inserted into each paragraph to maintain the flow of the wording.

2.5.3. In the second paragraph the wording can be cleaned up to be more concise, “That the interface in the transition areas between FL Ft. / FL Metric CIS / FL Metric PRC be properly managed with the introduction of procedures which will prevent the selection of the incorrect flight level” is the current phrase. It is not necessary to lay out each potential type of transition area but rather to emphasize the procedures needed in these zones. The revised paragraph would read as, “The interface in the transition areas between different systems shall be properly managed with the introduction of procedures which will prevent the selection of the incorrect flight level.”.

2.5.4. The final paragraph, “That a simplification of the R/T phraseology be introduced in the expression of Metric Flight Levels as adopted by Feet Flight Levels”, is in need of some cleaning up. While forms of RVSM are being utilized throughout the world they are not all using the same measurement units. The point to highlight here is the need for clear phraseology when transitioning between the areas that do utilize metric flight levels. For clarity, change the paragraph to read, “Simple and clear phraseology shall be introduced where metric flight levels are used.”.

IFATCA TPM (2019), ATS 3.10 – Global Compatible Flight Levels
Proposal:

That a A global solution should shall be developed using one system of flight level determination.

That t The interface in the transition areas between FL Ft. / FL Metric CIS / FL Metric PRC between different systems shall be properly managed with the introduction of procedures which will prevent the selection of the incorrect flight level.

That t The introduction of compatible procedures in the interface areas shall be coincident with the introduction of RVSM.

That a simplification Simple and clear of the R/T phraseology shall be introduced in the expression of Metric Flight Levels as adopted by Feet Flight Levels where metric flight levels are used.

 

2.6. ATS 3.11 – Units of Measurement in Civil Aviation.

2.6.1. Within ICAO Document 8896, Manual of Aeronautical Meteorological Practice, section regarding METARs the visibility which is reported can be up to 10 km. The discrepancy between navigation use of NM whilst meters are used in weather could be confusing.

2.3.10.3 In local routine reports and METAR, visibility is reported in steps of: 50 m when visibility is less than 800 m; 100 m when visibility is 800 m or more but less than 5 km; and 1 km when visibility is 5 km or more but less than 10 km. When visibility is 10 km or more, it is given as 10 km, except when conditions for the use of CAVOK apply (see Annex 3, Appendix 3, 2.2). Any observed value that does not fit the reporting scale in use shall be rounded down to the nearest lower step in the scale.

ICAO Document 8896

2.6.2. Due to the differing types of measurement used, this important subject needs review for consensus; it is proposed for addition to the TOC working programme.

2.7. ATS 3.20 – Short Term Conflict Alert.

2.7.1. The policy is very wordy and may benefit from more and concise language. It is therefore proposed that a policy review is conducted next year.

2.8. ATS 3.23 – Minimum Safe Altitude Warning (MSAW).

2.8.1. The core of the policy remains strong and viable, but the wording needs some cleaning up to form a more focused policy. Within the clean up, the excess words following MSAW, which is defined within the TPM already, would be removed. In lieu of without delay there is further emphasis that there is full implementation globally. There is also the need to amend must to shall for continued harmonization. The revised wording of the policy would be as follows:

IFATCA TPM (2019), ATS 3.23 – Minimum Safe Altitude Warning (MSAW)
Proposal:

MSAW, as a last-ditch ground-based warning system, must shall be fully implemented without delay, with the necessary appropriate operational requirements, and appropriate ATC procedures and training on a world-wide basis, in order to significantly reduce the number of CFIT accidents.

 

2.9. ATS 3.25 – Surveillance: In-Trail Procedures (ITP).

2.9.1. This policy has been left in its provisional state since its creation in 2008. There are many questions in terms of whether this policy has been implemented anywhere and whether the policy should still be included within the TPM. It is proposed that this provisional policy is added to the working program for next year.

2.10. ATS 3.29 – Continuous Descent Operations (CDO) and Continuous Climb Operations (CCO).

Recent experience has proven the potential of new arrival procedures known as Continuous Descent Arrivals (CDAs). CDAs enable aircraft to make a more continuous descent from cruise to runway, saving fuel, reducing emissions, and reducing frequency congestion. ANSPs want to expand the use of CDAs. To regulate this activity, ICAO has produced Doc 9931, “Continuous Descent Operations Manual”.

2.10.1. The first paragraph defines for IFATCA what Continuous Descent Operations (CDO) but does not prescribe any policy and is therefore suggested to be moved to the Acronyms and Terms section of the TPM.

2.10.2. The third paragraph defines for IFATCA what Continuous Climb Operations (CCO) but does not prescribe any policy and is therefore suggested to be moved to the Acronyms and Terms section of the TPM.

2.10.3. There is a need for an overhaul of the second paragraph. The proposed amendments would be done with an eye toward the desired outcome rather than limiting to a singular solution set. The set-up of the paragraph would also be edited. The revised paragraph would read:

IFATCA TPM (2019), ATS 3.29 – Continuous Descent Operations (CDO) and Continuous Climb Operations (CCO)
Proposal:

IFATCA defines Continuous Descent Operations as: Continuous Descent Operations (CDO) are aircraft operating techniques facilitated by appropriate airspace and procedure design which meet all ATM requirements, allowing the execution of an optimized descent profile.

[EDITORIAL: MOVE TO ACRONYMS AND TERMS]

“Doc 9931 should be amended as follows:

• Incorporate CDA design practices learned by the pioneers of the continuous descent, including and implementation should include as a minimum the 90% rule, the use of extensive simulation and the need for automated wind data and advanced sequencing tools.

• More precisely refer to those p Procedures terminology should refer to it aims to regulate as either Continuous Descent Arrivals (CDAs) or Optimized Profile Descents (OPDs).

IFATCA defines Continuous Climb Operations as: Continuous Climb Operations (CCO) are aircraft operating techniques facilitated by appropriate airspace and procedure design which meet all ATM requirements, allowing the execution of an optimized climb profile.

[EDITORIAL: MOVE TO ACRONYMS AND TERMS]

 

Conclusions

3.1. There are many policies in need of review which ranges from minor edits to moving to full overhaul. There are several policies that would benefit as well from full policy reviews.

Recommendations

4.1. It is recommended that the abovementioned sections of the Technical and Professional Manual (TPM) be amended accordingly, as described in Section 2 of this working paper.

References

FAA. (2019). Authorization of Aircraft and Operators for Flight in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace, Authorization of Aircraft and Operators for Flight in Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) Airspace. https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/separation_standards/rvsm/documents/AC91_85B.pdf

ICAO. (2016). Aeronautical Telecommunications: Annex 10 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Volume II, 7th Ed. Montreal, Canada: ICAO.

ICAO. (2018). PANS-ATM (Doc 4444), 16th Ed., Amdt 8. Montreal, Canada: ICAO.

ICAO. (2019). Manual of Aeronautical Meteorological Practice, Doc 8896. 12th Ed. Montreal, Canada: ICAO.

IFATCA. (2019). IFATCA Technical and Professional Manual (TPM). 2019 Ed. Montréal, Canada: International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations.

 

Last Update: July 26, 2022  

July 19, 2022   241   Jean-Francois Lepage    2022    

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