Conditions for an airport operator to make use of an advanced surface movement guidance and control system (A-SMGCS) for the provision of apron management service

Master's Thesis, 2010

96 Pages, Grade: 1,3




1. Introduction
1.1. Statement of the problem
1.2. Approach

2. Elaboration on A-SMGCS
2.1. Development towards A-SMGCS
2.2. A-SMGCS Benefits
2.3. A-SMGCS functional criteria
2.3.1. Surveillance
2.3.2. Control
2.3.3. Routing/Planning
2.3.4. Guidance
2.4. The Four Levels of Implementation
2.4.1. A-SMGCS Level 1 & 2
2.4.2. A-SMGCS Level 3 & 4
2.4.3. Further documents

3. Relevance for the ANSP
3.1. Legal Basis: ICAO
3.2. Legal Basis: European Union
3.3. SES regulation and requirements for licensing
3.3.1. EC No 549/2004: the framework Regulation
3.3.2. EC No 550/2004: the service provision Regulation
3.3.3. EC No 551/2004: the airspace Regulation
3.3.4. EC No 552/2004: the interoperability Regulation
3.3.5. EC No 1070/2009: amendments to SES I Legislative Package
3.4. National Supervisory Authority in Germany
3.5. Requirements for certification

4. Relevance for the airport operator
4.1. Legal Basis ICAO: Apron Management Services
4.2. Legal Basis in Europe: SES regulations
4.2.1. Remit of EASA
4.2.2. EC No 216/2008: common rules in the field of civil aviation
4.2.3. EC No 1108/2009: Aerodromes, ATM, ANS, ATC
4.3. Regulatory structure in Germany
4.3.1. Political Hierarchy: The Federalism in Germany
4.3.2. German Aviation Law: LuftVG
4.3.3. German Aviation Regulation: LuftVZO
4.3.4. Chart: Political hierarchy of aviation law in Germany

5. New challenges for the approval authority
5.1. The way to a “Declaration of Capability“
5.2. Experts position
5.2.1. Questionnaire
5.2.2. Responses

6. Recommendation for a “Declaration of Capability“
6.1. Personal Opinion
6.2. Particular situation at Frankfurt Airport

7. Conclusion

8. Fields for further study

Appendix A: Visibility conditions for A-SMGCS

Appendix B: Conditions to be attached to certificates

Appendix C: Overview of Community Specifications (CS) developed

by ETSI relevant to A-SMGCS (EN 303 213)

Appendix D: EC Declaration of verification for systems

Appendix E: German Federation of 16 sovereign Ministries

Appendix F: Questionnaire

List of abbreviations

List of figures

List of references



With the amendment of the European Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 by the new Regulation (EC) No 1108/2009 (into force since 14 December 2009), the area of competency of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is progressively extended towards a “total system approach” including ATM, ANS as well as airport safety and interoperability. This new regulation allows airport operators to continue with providing apron management service - but they have to “declare their capability“ for offering this service within the certification process of the aerodrome (source: Regulation No (EC) 1108/2009, Article 8a, paragraph (e)).

An advanced surface movement guidance and control system is one important tool for providing this service at large and complex airports. If ANSP are using a system like A- SMGCS under safety aspects, they have to undergo a licensing process according to SES-regulations and are licenced by the national supervisory authority.

The airport itself is licenced by the appropriate approving authority of the federal state. For Germany’s biggest airport, Frankfurt International Airport, it’s the ministry of transport of Hesse, the HMWVL. This ministry licences the airport as such as well as the safe provision of apron management service including the use of procedures and technical systems like A-SMGCS.

The conditions for this approval are subject of the Master's Thesis.

1. Introduction

Presently, airports are expected to become the restricting bottleneck to the overall Air Traffic Management (ATM) system.1 Latest results from EUROCONTROL's Central Office of Delay Analysis (CODA) reveal that airlines are responsible for nearly half of the departure delay causes on ground (49%, e.g. due to passenger, cargo or aircraft handling), while airports accounted for 18%, weather for 13% followed by ATC and miscellaneous reasons with 10% each. Having a closer look to one chapter of this delay data analysis, the airport's component of Air Traffic Flow and Capacity Management (ATFCM) reveals that “weather was the main cause of the airport ATFCM delay with 46% and was followed by Airport Capacity with 28%, ATC Capacity with 11%, other with 5%, ATC Staffing with 4% and ATC Equipment with 2% of the delay:“2

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Figure 1: Delays to Air Transport in Europe, Airport ATFCM

In 2007, the Commission of the European Union identified an upcoming ‘capacity crunch’ at airports in Europe, meaning a gap between capacity and demand of both runway and ground infrastructure. Estimates indicated that by 2025 over 60 European airports will be heavily congested and the top 20 airports will be saturated at least 8 to 10 hours per day, which led the EU to communicate an action plan for airport capacity:

“The capacity crunch at airports poses a threat to the safety, efficiency and competitiveness of all actors involved in the air transport supply chain.“3 Notwithstanding the recent air travel crisis, air traffic is still expected to grow within the next decade and airport capacity shortages have been identified as a serious obstacle and limiting factor to the future growth of the European air transport industry.

According to this, airport capacity as well as weather restrictions due to low visibility are two hurdles to address with improvements in surface movement operations. An advanced system which is able to reduce capacity limits at the airport's surface even in conditions when visibility is reduced would be able to minimize some of the delay causes and significantly contribute in avoiding a ‘capacity crunch’ at airports.

With the implementation of an advanced surface movement guidance and control system (A-SMGCS), the airport contributes to the precise surface guidance of aircraft to and from a runway while maintaining safe distance to each other as well as to obstacles and vehicles. The system is aimed to assist the ground controllers in managing the traffic situation on the movement area in all weather conditions. Due to advanced surveillance technology, the ground movement controllers are able to continue operations with an A-SMGCS even in low visibility conditions (e.g. due to fog) and maintaining nearly the same capacity as with no visibility restrictions.4

An additional increase in safety is given by the fact that the position of all vehicles and aircraft operating on the movement area are automatically detected by the advanced surveillance systems and are indicated on the screen of the responsible ground controller, who is otherwise depending on visual references or position reports of pilots and vehicle drivers.

The focus of this master thesis is not on the operational and technical details of the system, which are profoundly analyzed and elaborated on by R&D projects, e.g. by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), European research projects and the industry. However, the second chapter will provide those details required to fully understand the legal and administrative aspects of an A-SMGCS.

1.1. Statement of the problem

In the majority of cases where an A-SMGCS is operated, the responsible operator is the air navigation service provider (ANSP) himself. Air Traffic Control Services are provided by the ANSP and are subdivided into the parts area-, approach- and aerodrome control service. Latter is performed from an aerodrome control tower and only specified services on the apron may be assigned to a separate apron management unit.5 If this separate unit chooses to make use of an A-SMGCS, who is the responsible authority determining the conditions for its use and what conditions apply? Does this unit have to fulfill the same requirements as the ANSP for providing apron management service?

The current challenge for Europe's aviation community is to deliver a seamless, safe, performing and integrated Single European Sky (SES). To reach this target, the legislative bodies of the European Union have launched two regulatory packages: the first legislative package in 2004 (SES I) and the second one in 2009 (SES II). These regulations have set the general framework for improved safety, efficiency and interoperability of ATM in Europe. One chapter within the regulations is dedicated to apron management services (AMS), allowing airport operators the provision of control service on their apron with a “Declaration of Capability“.

The conditions for this declaration are not finally formulated, as the appropriate implementing rules and community specifications are still being developed. The goal of this master thesis is to elaborate on the framework for these conditions as well as the authorities who are responsible for the conditions to make use of an A-SMGCS when providing apron management service in Germany.

1.2. Approach

In the next chapter, A-SMGCS is presented with an overview of all functions and levels of implementation. The study does not go into detail of the technical challenges, but gives an impression of the functions and additional benefits of the applications. For the detailed description of the operational and performance requirements the system should fulfill and what to take account of prior implementing it at an airport, the relevant guidance material by ICAO (Document 9830 Manual) is recommended to read.

The third chapter describes the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and defines the legal scope of the published ICAO Annexes and Documents. Subsequently, the same distinctions are made at European level, followed by the explanations of the SES regulations relevant for the ANSP. The evolution and the competences of the national supervisory authority (NSA) in Germany are outlined as well as the certification process of an A-SMGCS from the viewpoint of the ANSP.

In chapter four, the legal basis for the provision of apron management services by an airport operator is derived from international (ICAO) and European perspective. The evolution and increasing remits of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are explained using the example of new European regulations in the field of aerodromes and air traffic management, with a focus on the relevance for the airport operator. Subsection 4.3. is dealing with the federalism in Germany, which is essential for the understanding of the complexity of allocation of competences regarding the regulations of aerodromes in Germany.6

This issue is further elaborated on in chapter five, where the development towards the regulation on apron management services by EASA is also revealed. As the consequences of the new European regulations and the scope of the claimed “Declaration of Capability“ are not finally formulated, statements of two German airport operators concerned are presented by means of responses to a questionnaire.

Having all the different regulations, rules, requirements and competences analyzed, chapter six concludes with a personal recommendation for a “Declaration of Capability“, as required for airport operators offering AMS from the year 2013 on.

Remark: As there is nearly no research on this legal issues available in ‘classic literature’, most of the sources and documents were found on the internet. The European Institutions and Organizations like EUROCONTROL and EASA are using this platform to such an extent, that all relevant information and communication with stakeholders are almost exclusively published on their homepage on the world wide web. In this context, the hyperlinks in the footnote are linked to the respective uniform resource locator (URL) on the web and are separately listed as references at the end of the thesis.7

2. Elaboration on A-SMGCS

2.1. Development towards A-SMGCS

Next to airport airside capacity enhancement (ACE) and collaborative decision making at an airport (A-CDM), A-SMGCS is a major project within the airport operations program (APR) of EUROCONTROL:8 The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation launched their program in 2002 to help enhance safety, capacity and efficiency at airports whilst remaining environmentally friendly.9

One tool for improved airport surface management is the implementation of an advanced surface movement guidance and control system at airports. This system aims to support the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of authorized movements of aircraft and vehicles on the airport’s surface.

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Figure 2: A-SMGCS traffic display at London-Luton Airport (EGGW, LTN) Movement area of an airport = manoeuvring area + apron(s)

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) differentiates between the movement area and the manoeuvring area on the airport’s surface. The movement area is defined as “that part of an aerodrome to be used for the take-off, landing and taxiing of aircraft, consisting of the manoeuvring area and the apron(s).“10 In case that only the manoeuvring area is mentioned, the aprons of the airport are excluded by definition. Additionally for A-SMGCS, the “movement area does not include passive stands, empty stands and those areas of the apron(s) that are exclusively designated to vehicle movements.“11

The establishment of a surface movement guidance and control system at an aerodrome is endorsed as an ‘International Standard’ by ICAO:12 “A surface movement guidance and control system shall be provided at an aerodrome.“13

The details of the basic system (SMGCS) are described in the 1986-dated ICAO Document 9476, whereas the “advanced“ system is described in Document 9830, a manual of 90 pages issued by ICAO as guidance material in 2004:

“Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control Systems (A-SMGCS) Manual”14

This manual provides the legal definition of A-SMGCS as a “system providing routing, guidance and surveillance for the control of aircraft and vehicles in order to maintain the declared surface movement rate under all weather conditions within the aerodrome visibility operational level (AVOL) while maintaining the required level of safety.“15

The difference between an SMGCS and an A-SMGCS is a question of capability and precision. Older and less developed systems are “not always capable of providing the necessary support to aircraft operations in order to maintain required capacity and safety levels, especially under low visibility conditions“16 and at night. The development of new technologies have made it possible to provide large and complex airports with a system that provides adequate capacity to operate with less delay even in bad weather (reads low visibility) conditions.17

A-SMGCS is based on a high level of integration between various functionalities enabling the usage of its improvements in relation to the layout (runways, taxiways, aprons) and traffic density of the airport.18 The aerodrome or apron controller will get a comprehensive picture of the traffic situation on the defined movement area, which raises his situational awareness - and by this, enables him to give “more precise guidance and control for all aircraft and vehicles on the movement area.“19

The whole system consists of four different functions which correlate with each other: surveillance, control, planning/routing and guidance. These modules are to be adjusted to the specific requirements of each aerodrome layout individually including a datacorrelation with the available flight data processing systems.

2.2. A-SMGCS Benefits

By the implementation of an A-SMGCS, the operators do expect an improvement in airport safety, because the ground movement controllers are provided with an enhanced picture of all traffic on the movement area. Some of the main benefits are listed below, followed by the explanation of the different functions and correlating levels thereafter.

The system offers better conflict detection for controllers (e.g. vehicles crossing an active runway without clearance) and by this a lower risk of surface collisions. The reliability and efficiency of airport operations is highly improved during bad weather and at night, when the viewpoint of personnel working on the control tower can make visual monitoring extremely challenging or even impossible. Currently, ground movements may be limited to a minimum or even prohibited if low visibility prevails - depending on the establishment of low visibility procedures (LVP) at the respective aerodrome.20 Simulations by DLR and research projects in reduced visibility conditions have “indicated an increase in movement rates in all conditions between 5% and 15% with A-SMGCS level 1&2. [Such] an increase in available airport throughput brings about a reduction in total delay, assuming the airport is limited in capacity.“21

A significant improvement is the maximization of the controllers’ situational awareness especially during multiple aircraft and vehicles movements and by this anticipating potential conflict situations earlier (due to visual and aural alerts) and allowing corrective actions before accidents may occur: “The clear advantage of this [system] is that it is pro-active and not re-active. Preventing conflicts before they appear is obviously better than solving them under time pressure when they become obvious.“22

The analysis and review of the first EMMA project by DLR includes feedback of ATCOs and summarizes “other benefits such as more efficient stand utilisation, taxiway utilisation, reduction in controller and/or pilot workload, reduction in required skill levels, reduction of aircraft engine emissions due to less ground holding, and a reduction in the costs associated with coordination.“23 This coordination between ground movement controllers and pilots may be further reduced with new technology (data link communication) as well as higher-level A-SMGCS procedures making pilot position reports unnecessary, so that the “traffic can be handled more efficiently during peak hours.“24

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and its counterpart in the Netherlands (NLR) are involved in main European projects like BETA and EMMA and have summarized their A-SMGCS research activities of the last ten years during a conference on ATMEconomics in September 2009 in Belgrade to conclude: For the time being “not all procedures were validated as of now and the final proof of the benefits must still be provided“25 by further developments and research under SESAR projects.

2.3. A-SMGCS functional criteria

Basically, an A-SMGCS should facilitate the ground operations at an airport and be capable of assisting authorized aircraft and vehicles to manoeuvre safely and efficiently on the movement area. To fulfill this task, the system should support the primary functions surveillance, control, routing/planning and guidance - with communication as an integral part of each of these functions.26

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Figure 3: Dependencies between A-SMGCS services

2.3.1. Surveillance

Surveillance is the primary “function of the system which provides identification and accurate positional information on aircraft, vehicles and obstacles within the required area“27 and permits comprehensive situational awareness. The positions are detected and calculated by multi-sensor systems comprising different correlating surveillance techniques like the aerodrome surveillance radar (ASR) with secondary surveillance radar (receives SSR-Codes), surface movement radar (SMR), multilateration systems (MLAT), automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B)28 etc.

The primary function of a surface movement radio detection and ranging (radar) system is “to detect all principal features on the surface of an airport, including aircraft and vehicular traffic, and to present the entire image on a radar indicator console in the control tower.“29 The existing “SMR should be used to augment visual observation of traffic on the manoeuvring area and to provide surveillance of traffic on those parts of the manoeuvring area which cannot be observed visually.“30 With an A-SMGCS, this basic surveillance technique is further developed by advanced identification means like automatic dependent surveillance, by which aircraft and cooperative vehicles automatically transmit their position, call-sign, vector/heading and other information

derived from on-board navigation and position fixing systems via a data link communication.31 All information are processed in the data fusion unit, which works as a ground multi-tracker and identifies the most likely location of all of the available surveillance systems and indicates it on the controllers’ screen. In turn (and in higher level implementations), the controller will be able to up-link messages like weather information or taxi-route to aircraft via the ground station's transmitter.32

The DLR, which is supervising and guiding research-projects on A-SMGCS in Europe,33 describes the essential application of surveillance: “Each individual aircraft is seamlessly tracked and identified from final approach until it reaches the parking position and vice versa from the stand until take-off. It provides accurate position information on all movements within the movement area and identification and labelling of all authorised movements. Currently, the apron surveillance often has limited tracking. It is only possible to fulfill these requirements by multi-sensor-systems. The current traffic situation is displayed to different controllers with a synthetic representation. Sometimes the analogue SMR information is used as background to the synthetic traffic situation. The difference between the conventional SMR screen and a synthetic A-SMGCS screen is illustrated [in the figure below]. Once the technical and operational feasibility is proven, it is intended that controllers, when appropriate, will be able to replace visual observations by A-SMGCS surveillance data. The automatically determined traffic situation is the basis for all further implementation levels and functions.“34

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Figure 4: Analogue SMR screen (left) vs. synthetic A-SMGCS screen

This surveillance function is the foundation of the system and provides controllers (in the first step) as well as pilots and vehicle drivers (in the upgraded levels) with the traffic situation on the movement area of the airport. The challenge in the advancement of surveillance technology is to overcome the limiting factors of tracking like shadowing (due to obstacles like buildings and terminals at the airport), multipath interferences, deflection of radar signals and false target reports. To determine the reliability of the A- SMGCS surveillance functions, ICAO defines four probability parameters to be considered in the specification of surveillance equipment:35

- probability of detection (PD): probability that an aircraft, vehicle or object is detected and displayed;
- probability of false detection (PFD): probability that anything other than an
aircraft, vehicle or object is detected and displayed;
- probability of identification (PID): probability that the correct identity of an aircraft, vehicle or object is displayed; and
- probability of false identification (PFID): probability that the displayed identity of the aircraft, vehicle or object is not correct.

Prior to the approval of an A-SMGCS, which comprises different types of surveillance equipment, it shall prove a very high level of reliability, availability and integrity. These requirements are further elaborated on and determined by ETSI in cooperation with EUROCAE and validate e.g. for the probability of detection: “Following operational data analysis coordinated by EUROCONTROL and EC research programs on deployed systems, a PD requirement of 99.9% on the manoeuvring area and 98% on the apron has been validated.“36 The following functions (control, routing/planning and guidance) all built on a reliable and validated automated surveillance function of the A-SMGCS.

2.3.2. Control

By the control function, possible conflicts on the movement area should be detected, highlighted with an alert and the most suitable solution should be provided within the upgraded levels.

“Control is an application of measures to prevent collisions, runway incursions and to ensure safe, expeditious and efficient movements. In a basic implementation its monitoring and alert function compares the current traffic situation with a pre-planned situation concerning:

- Taxiing on or crossing of a runway without permission
- Taxiing into prohibited areas (e.g. construction sites).

Conflict resolution advisories are foreseen for a full implementation of the Control function.“37

The control function will not take over control, but supports and “keep[s] controllers, pilots and vehicle drivers in the decision loop.“38 For the purpose of complete control, it is essential for the controller to receive a visual feedback on his instructions to verify if the pilot or vehicle driver has enforced his order correctly. It is a technical challenge to display the position of aircraft correctly, e.g. if the aircraft's axis is correctly aligned for further taxi-instructions after a given push-back approval. And as a general rule: “When using A-SMGCS, pilots remain responsible for the safety and control of aircraft.“39

2.3.3. Routing/Planning

The routing function shall enable the controller “to designate a route for each aircraft or vehicle within the movement area.“40 In this context, a route is defined as a “track from a defined starting point to a defined end point on the movement area.“41

If the routing function is complemented by a planning function, these proposals are to be seen as a support for planning spatial as well as timely movements of aircraft and vehicles. The route planning function “can be considered in two categories:

a) Strategic planning which can be done in advance without reference to the dynamics of the traffic situation at the airport. An example of this might be a plan for an aircraft to push back at a certain time, and use a preferred route to a specific hold in order to meet its required slot time.
b) Tactical planning which reacts in real time to the dynamics of the traffic situation providing variations to the strategic plan to maintain the required traffic flow despite unplanned occurrences.“42

Both strategic and tactical planning are the rationale of controller's instructions. But what if the system recommends a different route than the controller would propose? Other controller decision supporting tools in ATC like COMPAS, its successor 4D- Planner or award winning AMAN43 have shown the efficiency-increasing advantages of automation in air traffic control,44 but it also raises questions about adequate human control over automated systems or how to integrate controller’s intent into the prediction process.45 It is a balancing act in the comprehensive ATM system transferring human planning and decision making functions to a route planning computerized system. To paraphrase it with the position of ATCOs, represented by the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Association: “The purpose of automation is to assist the controller with his task of decision-making, not to reduce him to the position of being merely a system monitor. Ultimately, the role of automation should enhance controller performance with consequential benefits in increased safety, capacity and efficiency.“46

Finally, A-SMGCS supports by an ongoing change of rules of humans and systems, but the aerodrome/apron controller in charge has jurisdiction over the flight and is therefore the authority making the final decision. In case of changes to a taxi-route or other unexpected situations the system shall allow for quick and swift action. In the future data link environment, voice communication shall still remain available to cater for these kind of situations.

2.3.4. Guidance

The guidance function supports pilots as well as vehicle drivers in following the correct route with associated time constraints. The routes are either computed by the technical system and approved by the controller or directly created by the controller in charge.47

Today, stop-bars and taxiway-lights are operated manually by the controllers. In more complex systems like the higher level functions of A-SMGCS (for which still extensive

requirements definition and R&D is necessary), “fully or partially automated guidance may be provided to suitably identified mobiles, with the A-SMGCS having the ability to automatically control taxiway lights, stop bars and other guidance aids.“48 The standardized ground visual aids, like surface-markings, signs, lights and taxi-lines are developed further in terms of switch-able (!) centreline lights, ground lighting, illuminated stop-bars or runway status lights (ground-based visual guidance) enabling the pilot to ‘follow the greens’.49

As a promising future solution, aircraft may be equipped with an onboard guidance system similar to a ‘moving map display’, presenting the current own-ship-position with regard to the airport's layout and other traffic on a graphical map:

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Figure 5: View of pilot's Human-Machine-Interface50

2.4. The Four Levels of Implementation

The ICAO Document 9830 is written from the perspective of standardization of the concept and provides an appropriate baseline for certification and operation of A- SMGCS at global level. In Europe, EUROCONTROL launched a project in the year 2002 to develop, validate and implement operational procedures for A-SMGCS according four functional levels, mostly combining Level 1 & 2 as well as Level 3 & 4.

2.4.1. A-SMGCS Level 1 & 2

“EUROCONTROL has decided for a more practical approach in Europe by using the functional layers of ICAO, in line with what technology can enable over the years. This approach has also been adopted to serve as a basis for the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme. The four functional levels of A-SMGCS are:

Level 1: Surveillance - ready for implementation

Level 2: Control - ready for implementation

Level 3: Routing - to be developed under SESAR Level 4: Guidance - to be developed under SESAR

EUROCONTROL has developed levels 1 & 2 in the past years and can provide practical guidance in how to implement [...] and whom to involve making such a project successful.“51 Experts of this European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation recommend, that an “A-SMGCS should be evolutionary implemented through successive levels of implementation. These implementation levels form a coherent series. [...] The main concerns of the Levels 1 and 2 rely on further improvement of safety, whereas the efficiency of ground movement is dealt with in levels 3 and 4.“52

“The implementation of A-SMGCS Level 1 gives an accurate surveillance picture of the traffic on and adjacent to the runway, including the position and identity of all known traffic. It will also indicate unknown traffic (or intruders).

Level 2 will further enhance Level 1 by giving the controller warnings of potentially hazardous situations associated with runway incursions“53, made possible by comprehensive automated surveillance.

2.4.2. A-SMGCS Level 3 & 4

The levels 3 (routing including conflict detection) and level 4 (conflict resolution plus automatic planning & guidance) address medium or long-term implementations of an A- SMGCS. According European ATM Master Plan the full range of A-SMGCS levels will be ready for implementation in 2013 at the earliest.54

Within the DLR's R&D-project EMMA2,55 the two higher-level A-SMGCS are trialed at simulator facilities (e.g. at DLR Braunschweig56 ) and at particular chosen airports in Europe. As one of the first results, “the operational benefit of individual routing & guidance using individual lamp control for LED and halogen light fixtures has been proven through automatic individual switching on of taxiway lights in front of the aircraft, and in function of its progression on the taxiway, their switching off behind. In comparison with traditional routing and guidance information, largely by ATC voice commands, this unambiguous visual guidance caused a strong reduction in pilot / ATC workload and voice communication.“57

To sum it up, the step-by-step implementation of an A-SMGCS at an airport consists of a huge and complex set of systems and procedures including all aircraft and vehicles operating on the movement area. The research and validation activities are ongoing ‘from gate to gate’ to improve the operations on an airport from many points of view.

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Figure 6: Overview of A-SMGCS Implementation Levels

2.4.3. Further documents

There is a large number of research and guidance documents to find on the technical aspects, performance and functional requirements as well as on the operational concepts of an advanced surface movement guidance and control system:

EUROCONTROL has established a contemporary ‘public library’ for all its documents and publications regarding A-SMGCS. After the last validation at 19 July 2010 there were 13 extensive documents available on A-SMGCS on the web.58

The German Aerospace Center (DLR), which is conducting major research and development activities on A-SMGCS, has also established a page on the world wide web to “create an overview of what is going on in the subject of A-SMGCS worldwide. A jointly maintained site to inform each other about ongoing events, projects, results, problems, ideas, who-is-who, “59

An overview about the expected costs is provided by EUROCONTROL's “study on an overall analysis of the envisaged benefits and costs of implementing A-SMGCS Levels I & II (i.e. a Cost Benefit Analysis), using the results of the validation process (simulations and operational trials) and addressing the areas of safety, efficiency, throughput & environmental impact“60 of the year 2006. To conclude with figures, the DLR has taken this cost-benefit analysis as a calculation background for the implementation of an A- SMGCS level 1 & 2:

“For airports with more than 175,000 movements per year, overall costs of an A- SMGCS would result in 3.47M€. With a total annual saving of 0.9M€ [by means of accumulated depreciations], it would take 5 years for the investment to pay off. For large airports with at least 350,000 movements per year, the cost-benefit ratio is slightly better since several costs are fix costs which are independent of the size of the airport. Here, it can be expected that the investment pays off after three years.“61

These are the financial, operational and functional backgrounds of the system, but as the legal conditions of certification and implementation of A-SMGCS are nearly nowhere to be found (expressly for apron control), the following chapters will administer to these issues.

3. Relevance for the ANSP

3.1. Legal Basis: ICAO

The International Civil Aviation Organization has been established as an autonomous organization of the United Nations (UN) by the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed in Chicago on 7 December 1944. Its aims and objectives “are to develop the principles and techniques of international air navigation and to foster the planning and development of international air transport.“62

Each of the meanwhile 190 contracting member states “undertakes to collaborate in securing the highest practicable degree of uniformity in regulations, standards, procedures, and organization in relation to aircraft, personnel, airways and auxiliary services in all matters in which such uniformity will facilitate and improve air navigation.“63 To facilitate and to improve all matters concerning the “safety, regularity, and efficiency of air navigation“64, the Montréal-based ICAO Council adopts and amends ‘International Standards And Recommended Practices’ (SARPs) and “for convenience, designate[s] them as Annexes to this [Chicago] Convention and notif[ies] all contracting States of the action taken.“65 Any such “Annex or any amendment of an Annex shall become effective within three months after its submission to the contracting States or at the end of such longer period of time as the Council may prescribe.“66

“ICAO standards and other provisions are developed in the following forms:

- Standards and Recommended Practices - collectively referred to as SARPs;
- Procedures for Air Navigation Services - called PANS;
- Regional Supplementary Procedures - referred to as SUPPs; and
- Guidance Material in several formats.“67



2 EUROCONTROL: CODA-Digest, Delays to Air Transport in Europe, Annual 2009, page 38.

3 European Commission: An action plan for airport capacity, efficiency and safety in Europe. Communication from the Commission to the Council et. al. of 24.01.2007, COM 2006/819, page 3.

4 Definitions and visibility conditions are listed in Appendix A.

5 ICAO Annex 11: Air Traffic Services, Chapter 3, Air Traffic Control Service.

6 When it comes to Germany's aviation law (e.g. in chapter 4.3.), some documents are only available in German language. This is why the own translation of the relevant parts of legal text like the LuftVG, LuftVO and LuftVZO is additionally quoted in the legally binding German language within the footnote.

7 To receive this master thesis in a portable document format, just write an e-mail to the author.



10 ICAO Annex 14: Aerodromes, Volume I, Chapter 1.1.

11 ICAO Doc 9830, Glossary, Note to definition of movement area, page IX.

12 For details on ICAO and the character of its documents, see chapter 3.1. of this thesis.

13 ICAO Annex 14: Aerodromes, Volume I, Chapter 9.8.1.

14 ICAO Doc 9830, AN/452, First Edition, Montreal 2004.

15 ICAO Doc 9830, Glossary, page IX.

16 ICAO Doc 9830, Foreword, page V.

17 See Appendix A for the definition of visibility conditions relevant for A-SMGCS.

18 The terms visibility conditions, traffic density, aerodrome layout and aerodrome types are defined and

ca tegorized by ICAO Doc 9830, A-SMGCS Manual, Appendix A.

19 ICAO Doc 9830, Chapter 1.3.4.

20 LVP are regulated by European Commission Regulation 859/2008, OPS 1.440 et seq.

21 Röder/Jakobi et al.: Econcomic aspects of A-SMGCS, DLR 2009, page 4.

22 DLR:

23 Carotenuto: State of the Art in A-SMGCS, DLR 2005, page 18.

24 Röder/Jakobi et al.: Econcomic aspects of A-SMGCS, DLR 2009, page 5.

25 Röder/Jakobi et al.: Econcomic aspects of A-SMGCS, DLR 2009, page 11.

26 ICAO Doc 9830, Chapter 2.2. Operational Requirements.

27 ICAO Doc 9830, Glossary, page X.

28 For details on MLAT and ADS-B visit: (by SRA International, ERA Systems).


30 ICAO Doc 4444: PANS-ATM, Chapter

31 ICAO Doc 4444: PANS-ATM, Chapter 13.

32 ERA Systems Corp.:


34 DLR:

35 ICAO Doc 9830, Chapter

36 EUROCAE: MASPS for A-SMGCS, ED-87B, Chapter page 28.

37 DLR:

38 ICAO Doc 9830, Basic functional requirements, Chapter

39 ICAO Doc 9830, Chapter 2.3. Note.

40 ICAO Doc 9830, Basic functional requirements, Chapter

41 ICAO Doc 9830, Glossary, page IX.

42 EUROCAE: MASPS for A-SMGCS, ED-87B, Chapter 2.1.4. page 12.

43 CANSO: DFS receives ATC Global Award 2010:

44 For details on these systems and projects: (by DLR/NLR).

45 Bierwangen/Heil et al.: Towards Automation in Air Traffic Management, in DFS TE 2/2006.

46 IFATCA: Vision Document towards the 21th Century, September 2007, page 9.

47 DLR:

48 EUROCAE: MASPS for A-SMGCS, ED-87B, Chapter 2.1.3. page 12.

49 ICAO Doc 9830,, Guidance: Visual aid instructions - Green lights in front mean ‘follow’.

50 Sample of DLR's TARMAC project: “It shows on the topography of the airport the own ship position (bright white aircraft symbol in the centre), other traffic with their call-sign, the status of runways and the own cleared route in a graphical (green line) and textual mode (at the bottom).“

51 EUROCONTROL: APR Project A-SMGCS Overview, Latest validation 27.05.2010.

52 EUROCONTROL: Definition on A-SMGCS Implementation Levels, Edition 1.2, 30.06.2010, page 13.

53 EUROCONTROL: Airport Operations Programme, Brochure, Brussels 2005.

54 European Commission: European ATM Master Plan, figure 29, page 64.

55 Government-founded project of 21 European partners at 4 testsites:

56 DLR test range:

57 EUROCONTROL at 50: Reaching for the SES, Yearbook 2010, Airfield Solutions, page 82.


59 DLR:

60 EUROCONTROL: Final Report on Generic Cost Benefit Analysis of A-SMGCS, 13.10.2006, page 7.

61 Röder/Jakobi et al.: Econcomic aspects of A-SMGCS, DLR 2009, page 11.Relevance for the ANSP 18

62 ICAO Doc 7300/9: Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention of 1944), Art. 44.

63 ICAO: Chicago Convention, Art. 37 (1).

64 ICAO: Chicago Convention, Art. 37 (2).

65 ICAO: Chicago Convention, Art. 54 (L).

66 ICAO: Chicago Convention, Art. 90 (a).

67 ICAO: Making an ICAO Standard:

Excerpt out of 96 pages


Conditions for an airport operator to make use of an advanced surface movement guidance and control system (A-SMGCS) for the provision of apron management service
University of Applied Sciences Wildau  (WIT Wildau Institute of Technology)
Aviation Management
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
1941 KB
Bewertung: Die eingereichte Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit der sehr komplexen Thematik der europäischen Luftfahrtgesetzgebung und der sich daraus ergebenden Verpflichtungen für die Teilnehmer am Luftverkehr. Es wurden die zum gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt verfügbaren Unterlagen geprüft und bewertet, um daraus eine Handlungsempfehlung zu entwickeln um ein technisches System auch für den Einsatz genehmigt zu bekommen. Die Arbeit lässt berufliche Erfahrung und eine vertiefte Fachkenntnis erkennen, die weit über das innerhalb des Masterkurs vermittelte Wissen hinaus geht. Insgesamt eine sehr gute Arbeit.
A-SMGCS, SMGCS, Airport, ATM, ATC, Apron Management Service, European Regulation, Declaration of Capability, Aviation Law, EASA, Total System Approach, Single European Sky, Surface Movement Radar
Quote paper
Diplom-Staatswissenschaftler (Univ.), Master of Aviation Management Sascha Hissler (Author), 2010, Conditions for an airport operator to make use of an advanced surface movement guidance and control system (A-SMGCS) for the provision of apron management service, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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