Draft Aeromacs Operations Concept

Draft Aeromacs Operations Concept


ACP-WG-S/2 WP-07
International Civil Aviation Organization


Second Meeting of theAeroMACS Working Group

Montreal, Canada 23-26 October 2012

Agenda Item 6: / 6.2


AeroMACS Operations Concept

Presented by Bruce Eckstein

This paper, develop by a sub-group of the AeroMACS Working group, is the consensus of the group to be an operational concept to be used as a tool for the identification of possible requirements to be reflected in the AeroMACS SARPs.
The AeroMACS Working Group is invited to consider using the included material as an aid in the development of the ICAO SARPs for AeroMACS and the AeroMACS technical manual.


1.1The AeroMACS communication system is a wideband wireless system that has an international spectrum allocation approved for use only at airports for surface communications. The following concept is being proposed as a typical scenario for the use of the AeroMACS communications system. The purpose of this scenario is to identify operational usages from which high level requirements might be identified for reflection in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards And Recommended Practices (SARPS). This concept is meant to provide sufficient breadth to be able to capture/identify the SARPs performance requirements. This concept is not meant to include every possible application. This concept identifies some communications applications that might be directed to flow over the AeroMACS system. The data from applications identified in this concept could flow over multiple Aeronautical links. Regional implementations of various technologies are merged into this concept of operations as an aircraft might see at different airports around the world. Not all concepts presented occur at a single airport at this planning stage but could if States choose to implement. Emphasis is placed on concepts/implementations that may drive AeroMACS performance requirements, and as such the listing in not intended to be all-encompassing with respect to eventual AeroMACS applications.


2.1The aircraft operator provides gate/stand/hangar information, aircraft registration/flight identification, Flight Plan and estimated off-block time to other users (e.g., Airport,Fixed Base Operation, Corporate Operationand ATC) via the ground-ground communications system. The Flight Crew prepares the aircraft for the flight.Among their other duties, the pilots power up the aircraft communications systems which includes the AeroMACS communications system. The pilots connect their Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)s to the AeroMACS communications system ports in the aircraft provided for EFBs to enable updates to all EFB Applications. As the various data communications connections and application logons are being established the pilots are performing other duties associated with preparing the aircraft for the flight. The pilots initiate Air Traffic Control (ATC) voice link and Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) to enable transfer of ATC clearances. The Flight Plan from Aircraft Operational Control (AOC) for airlines or Flight Operational Control (FOC) for Business Aviation is received and entered into the Flight Management System (FMS). The aircraft begins receiving supporting data from System Wide Information Management (SWIM) services via AeroMACS to support trajectory negotiation(e.g. passes on initial trajectory computed by the FMS, derived from the flight plan and negotiates an agreed to “business” trajectory) and other SWIM services (e.g. NOTAMS, PIREPS, AWAS). The pilot establishes a D-OTIS contract for Digital Automatic Terminal Information Service (DATIS) data and receives the response via the aircraft AeroMACS system as the preferred link medium. The Flight Crew consults relevant Aeronautical Information Services (e.g., Planning Information Bulletins, NOTAMS, and Aeronautical Information Charts) concerning the flight. Real-time information on the flight’s departure is now available in the Air Traffic Service Unit (ATSU) automation system. The Flight Information Service (FIS) system response provides all relevant information for the near real-time weather, and field conditions, plus the relevant Notice to Airmen (NOTAMS). The pilots review updated information for appropriate adjustment to information entered in aircraft systems such as the FMS and for coordination with ATC and AOC/FOC.

2.2The aircraft begins receiving surface vehicle locations on the ADS-B/Traffic Information System-Broadcast (TIS-B) system in the aircraft, as well as airport surface map providing traffic information from additional sources. Some of the vehicles on the airport surface are equipped with an ADS position reporting capability (typically non-movement area vehicles such as people movers, tugs, food trucks, baggage carts) while others are equipped with ADS-B reporting (usually movement area vehicles such as snow plows, fire engines, maintenance vehicles as well as aircraft). The airport surfacemap is transferred to aircraft, vehicle systems and service organizations (such as airlines, airport authorities, fuel truck companies, FBOs, Handling Organizations) as appropriate for their usage. For aircraft preparing to taxi, the current information of the ground operational environment is receivedand merged with aircraft and vehicle positions for graphical display in the aircraft. For appropriate ground vehicles, the airport surface map including the location of vehicles and aircraft at the airport is received and displayed. Some aircraft begin transmitting ADS position via the AeroMACS system to support the TIS service, as their 1090-ES system is not yet powered up due to certain aircraft implementation issues (high power transmissions of weather radar which cause personnel safety issues are enabled by the same power switch as the 1090-ES system).The Departure clearance is received from the ATC service provider. The load sheet request is sent to AOC. The load sheet response with the “dangerous goods notification information” and the last minute changes to the weight and balance of the aircraft are sent by AOC and are automatically loaded into the avionics. The Flight Crew requests a “Start Up and Push Back Clearance” via the Data Link Taxi Service. The tug is attached to the aircraft and the tug operator communicates with the pilots via VoIP to coordinate the pushback of the aircraft. The pilots receive clearance/authorization to push-back. The pilot instructs the tug to push back and disengage and the Flight Crew starts up the engines in accordance with Airport procedures. The push back sends an Out-Off-On-In message to AOC advising that the flight has left the gate/stand.

2.3As the aircraft pushes back, the Surveillance service is activated and continues for the duration of the flight to the destination gate. The Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System picks up the surveillance message and associates the aircraft with the Flight Data Processing System (FDPS) flight planand trajectory.

2.4The crew identifies the correct location for the specified de-icing station using the surface vehicle surveillance information provided to the aircraft. The aircraft proceeds to the de-icing station. The pilots are aware of the tug position on this snowy day via both visual and TIS-B broadcasts as the tug is transmitting its ADS position as are all other vehicles on the surface of the airport (both movement and non-movement areas). As the aircraft approaches the de-icing station, coordination occurs over the VoIP with personnel at the de-icing station. As the de-icing procedure is occurring, the pilots request updated DATIS information for review and possible action. Having completed the de-icing procedures, the aircraft receives clearance to proceed to the runway. On the way to the runway, the aircraft passengers and crew prepare for takeoff. The aircraft is given clearance to takeoff. As the aircraft takes off, an Out-Off-On-In (OOOI) message is generated and sentto AOC that the aircraft is airborne. The aircraft loses connectivity to the AeroMACS system during the takeoff while other systems such as the ADS-B are fully operational.

2.5As the aircraft proceeds towards its destination, the aircraft collects various types information for later transmission. Some aircraft engine data is transmitted while in the air while other data is held back for later transmission.

2.6After the aircraft has landed, the AeroMACS system quickly connects and the stored data such as flight log, cabin log, emission report, Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) and requests are automatically transmitted. D-ATIS requests for the next leg of the flight are transmitted and responses to aircraft requests are made available to the requestors. As the avionics detects touchdown the aircraft sends the on OOOI information to the AOC.

2.7At the airport, aircraft ADS-B transmissions are received by ADS-B ground stations. The ADS-B transmissions received from the aircraft are forwarded to the TIS servers via AeroMACS as some of the ground stations do not have direct access to the airport LAN to enable transfer of ADS-B information between the TIS servers and the ground stations. In addition the MultiLateration system that tracks aircraft position on the surface of the airport connects via the AeroMACS system to the ATC service provider surveillance system to provide the MultiLateration sensor data.

2.8When the aircraft arrives at the gate/stand, the aircraft sends the In OOOI message to the AOC who makes the information available for other users.

3.Communications Applications Linkage

3.1In the following table, the usage of the AeroMACS network to service the communications for certain applications are identified. It should be noted thatthe aircraft owner may implement an aircraft policy to use the AeroMACS system rather than an alternative link for certain communications applications when not otherwise specified by the ATSU. The policy may be based on link costs, need for protection of proprietary data or other considerations.

Airport Surface Communication Type
Application / Possible AeroMACS Application
ADS-B / no
ADS-C / yes
Airport Surface Map / yes
CM / yes
CPDLC / yes
EFB Application updates / yes
Flight Plan / yes
Ground/Ground links (e.g. MultiLateration GSs, ADS-B GSs) / yes
Load Sheet / yes
Log Book(s) transfer / yes
OOOI / yes
SWIM / yes
TIS / yes
Vehicle ADS (non-movement area) / yes
VOIP / yes
Weather (graphical or textual) / yes


4.1The AeroMACS Working Group is invited to consider using the included material as an aid in the development of the ICAO SARPs for AeroMACS and the AeroMACS technical manual.