eAIP moves ahead with apsXML

apsXML from Managed-AIS provides the EAD eAIP and AIP production subsystem. The software has been developed in partnership with EUROCONTROL and other EAD system providers and is now the worlds number one software product for eAIP and AIP production.
screenshot600Screenshot of apsXML used by NavPortugal Although apsXML has undergone many major changes since the beginning of 2009, there are more still to come. It is Managed-AIS aim to give EAD clients a return on their investment in the system by continuing to improve the software with new advancements and features. So what will the EADs eAIP subsystem look like in the near future? One vital step will come in 2010 with an upgrade from version 1.04 to version 1.1 of the EUROCONTROL eAIP DTD. This will bring many benefits to users as well as expanding the capabilities of eAIPs produced using apsXML. As with the AD 1.5 change, the timetable for upgrading DTD is in the hands of individual states and for this reason, a new tool for DTD management will be included. This will allow eAIP editors to check individual files for DTD version, in addition to automating global DTD changes to the eAIP. The new DTD version will bring new options for EAD AIP subsystem users. Version 1.1 of the DTD will allow users to present logical groups of changes within the eAIP, rather than grouping changes by AIP section. Designated point elements in the eAIP will now be able to contain multiple SIDs and STARs, removing the limitation present in DTD version 1.04. Finally, changes will come in route tables, which will benefit from improved support for FUA and magnetic route tracks. More fundamentally, the way the creation and management of ENR 3 route tables is handled will also change in apsXML. A new workflow for route tables will make it possible to dynamically manage route table content before and after insertion. The new route table manager will allow editors to see the EAD SDO data that will be inserted, before the table is placed. There will also be additional options such as selecting route segments inclusion and editing route segment remarks. The amended table can then be placed in the document and whenever changes are made, the route table manager can be used to review them in advance. The planned changes arent restricted to what can be seen in the document. Users of the EAD AIP production subsystem will benefit in future from improved html previewing tools. In addition to previewing the finished eAIP in html, users will soon be able to preview individual circulars, supplements and eAIP sections. Rather than wait until the final moment to check the html content, it will be possible to review it during the editing process, ensuring that html and pdf production can be carried out in parallel. There are many changes implemented and on the way for apsXML from Managed-AIS. One of the biggest and most important is the migration to AIXM 5. As with everything else in the EAD, this is being carried out in partnership with EUROCONTROL and other system providers. This migration is already in progress and the first fruits of this will be seen in apsXML as changes to the EAD SDO will allow improved support for ICAO's eTOD requirements. These will be assisted by new tools for obstacle selection and placement within the eAIP, enhancing the workflow for publishing obstacle data in the AIP. Thanks to the partnership between Managed-AIS, EUROCONTROL, the EAD system providers and the EAD clients, apsXML continues to move eAIP forward, into AIXM 5 and beyond.
Within the EAD, apsXML is used to maintain three published eAIPs those of Hungary, Latvia and Portugal with nine other states expecting to publish eAIPs using apsXML in 2010. Access to the AIP subsystem is controlled through the EADs system of user rights, while the system's document management features allow multiple editors to work on an AIP simultaneously. apsXML is integrated with the EAD system, enabling AIP documents containing AIXM data links from the EAD. These can be used to build text, tables and even AIP sections from the EAD's database, all using apsXML's palette of data insertion tools. The document interface is designed to let editors see the document and the XML content as it is edited and includes previewing features so that AIP and eAIP content can be reviewed before it is finally published. Publishing can be done directly to the EAD PAMS system and both pdf and html output formats are supported. Managed-AIS, in partnership with EUROCONTROL, are continuing to invest in apsXML to ensure that EAD users have the tool that they need to publish and maintain eAIPs. This need has been given added impetus by the arrival of the EU regulation on aeronautical data quality (ADQ) and the finalisation of EUROCONTROL's eAIP specification. In order to continue to support EAD clients in their eAIP production, apsXML is undergoing a program of improvements, some of which have been already implemented. The program started in 2009 with the introduction of unicode capabilities to the software, a more intuitive solution to the problem of special alphabetical characters than the existing workflow. The feedback from EAD clients has been positive and the change was an important first step in the program. 2009 also saw the introduction of a new way of managing AIP chart files. The management and placement of chart files has always been one of the more challenging aspects of AIP production and this process has been made easier with the new chart and image versioning tools. These allow the storage of AIP-ready chart and image files in a chart database section within the apsXML AIP Manager where the AIP files are stored. Once chart files have been added to the database, they are available for insertion into the AIP document by using a single menu option. Each chart can be associated with a final date; once this date passes, the software will check the chart and image database for a newer version and if it finds one, it will replace the existing file, keeping the chart files up to date automatically. 2010 has already seen two more important changes in apsXML, introduced in the latest EAD release. Firstly, apsXML is now compliant with the ICAO Annex 15, Amendment 35 requirement for an AD 1.5 section. The new section, Status of certification of aerodromes can be created as a structured file and added to the AIP Manager and will then be included in any pdf or html output. In order to allow states to set their own timetables for migrating to the AD 1.5 section, this option is configurable and states can maintain eAIPs with or without a section AD 1.5. A further important change in the latest release is the arrival of improved tools for marking amendments. As the system already includes a full set of tools for publishing the entire IAIP (with Supplements and Circulars), the AIP or an AIP amendment, these new tools provide an enhancement to the current toolset. Previously, amendments were compiled from pages where changes have been made. This new feature allows the marking of pages, sections or AIP sections as amended: these will then be included in the published amendment.
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