A new Flight Alerting System was developed by AC-B on behalf of German Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH in order to highly automate the tracking of all non international airport landings within Germany for defined flights. Today, the new system is set into operation.
ICAO Annex 11 "Air Traffic Services", Chapter 5 mandates to provide an Alerting Service:
a) for all aircraft provided with air traffic control service;
b) in so far as practicable, to all other aircraft having filed a flight plan or
otherwise known to the air traffic services; and
c) to any aircraft known or believed to be the subject of unlawful
Each Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) has to provide such an Alerting Service within his area of responsibility. In general, the Alerting Service assures that all necessary action will be taken, if no communication has been received from an aircraft within a determined period of time or no arrival report was received after the calculated time of arrival.
Usually the Air Traffic Control service (ATC) is responsible for provisioning the Alerting Service. At the German ANSP DFS the Aeronautical Information Service Centre (AIS-C) is responsible for the supervision of timely landing of defined flights in the uncertainty phase of the flight alerting service. This task will now be conducted by means of the Airfield Alerting Service System developed by AC-B.
All flight plan messages, which are received or send by DFS are extracted out of the national data communication network and stored in the Central Flight Plan Store Database, which was developed by AC-B in 2011, too. All flight plans which are relevant for the Airfield Alerting Service are forwarded from the Central Flight Plan Store to the Airfield Alerting Service System.
The Airfield Alerting Service System analyses and processes each of the incoming messages to generate a timeline of all expected landings for all 480 airfields within Germany. The system informs the operation staff about flights which have exceeded their landing time for a determined amount of time referred to the latest flight plan or associated update message. The automatic processing of flight plans and flight associated messages reduces the manual workload significantly and increases the safety issue as well. By using the Airfield Alerting Service System, the supervision of an enormous number of flights will be possible. In practice, the supervision of up to 350 flights per day is conducted by only one working position.
The visual and acoustical alarm triggers the necessary information to the operator. Due to the automatic processing of FPL- and associated messages (e.g. DEP- and ARR-MSG), most of the flight plans are completely processed without manual intervention.
The whole system was developed with up-to-date software technology. The access of the system is completely WEB-based. The core of the Airfield Alerting Service System is a JAVA Application combined with an AJAX web application which is based on the Google Web Toolkit, running on a SuSE Linux High Availability Cluster.
To ensure the high quality of the Alerting Service Application, AC-B’s test tool was adapted to provide automated testing with more than 150 scenarios and thousands of different flight plans and flight messages.