• Overview

    European Commission Regulation (EU) No.73/2010 lays down the requirements on the quality of aeronautical data and information for the Single European Sky (SES) and is commonly referred to as the ‘ADQ IR’ The regulation first entered into force on 27th January 2010 and was subsequently updated on 26 September 2014 as (EU) No. 1029/2014 to reflect updated document references and minor administrative changes. EU 73/2010 as amended by UK Statutory Instrument 2019 No. 459 comes into force at the end of the UK’s Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 (the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 converts existing EU law into UK law and the Government has implemented associated secondary legislation to ensure an effectively functioning statute book).

    It should be noted that the ADQ IR supplements and strengthens the requirements of ICAO Annex 15.

    The SES legislation, and from 01 Jan 2021 UK law, applies to all entities originating, managing, processing or transmitting aeronautical data and information, from the point of collection or origination up to the point of publication by the National Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) provider.

    Under the concept of Aeronautical Information Management (AIM), digital data is managed and delivered, based on commonly agreed and standardised data sets, with assured levels of quality that will support new concepts in ATM such as Performance Based Navigation (PBN) and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), as well as allowing more opportunity to develop innovative products.

    Why ADQ IR is needed

    The ADQ IR was introduced to achieve aeronautical data and information of sufficient quality as a key enabler of the European Air Traffic Management Network (EATMN) and takes into account the provisions of the Single European Sky (SES) Regulations and in particular the Interoperability Regulation (IR (EC) No.552/2004). 

    To support the new systems that will allow the growth of air traffic within the European Air Traffic Management Network (EATMN), aeronautical information and data needs to demonstrate levels of quality and integrity that have never been possible before.

    A lot of data is still provided using manual processes and procedures, and often in static data formats which cannot readily be exchanged without considerable manual intervention. Whilst every effort is made to ensure data and information is accurate and made available in a timely manner, manual intervention raises the potential for human error in existing information.

    ADQ IR requires information and data to be structured in accordance with ISO standards for geospatial information, including the use of the Geography Mark-up Language (GML). The Aeronautical Information Exchange Model (AIXM) was developed to meet these requirements, and enables the management and distribution of data and information in a common digital form.

    The ADQ IR was implemented by the European Commission to provide a means of achieving demonstrable levels of quality for aeronautical data and information. The application of AIXM enables digital data and information to be exchanged with the associated metadata that provides the ability to determine the origin, verification, validation, validity, accuracy, and integrity, at all stages from origination through to publication in the AIP and beyond.

    Implementing the ADQ IR will support the new concepts of operations that will enable the UK to optimise its available airspace to the levels desired, whilst increasing safety and efficiency standards by providing assured, digital, dynamic aeronautical data and information is available for current and future ATM concepts, including:

    RNAV & PRNAV - Area (precision) Navigation

    • Navigation systems which are not dependent on ground based navigation systems, but flight management systems that are dependent on satellite navigation and accurate digital flight management data with demonstrable levels of quality.

    GNSS - Global Navigation System

    • Instrument flight procedures based on global positioning systems require quality digital data to meet higher accuracy tolerances for the landing of aircraft.

    DMEAN - Dynamic Management of European Airspace Network

    • Integrated approach to flight planning, air traffic flow, airport collaborative decision making, that will allow the ATMN to cope with the demand for more capacity in a more dynamic manner. To facilitate DMEAN digital dynamic aeronautical information of increased quality is necessary.

    SES/SESAR - Single European Sky/SES Research Programme

    • An initiative to reform the architecture of the European ATM. And a programme to deliver the new technologies that will enable the envisaged modernisation. Modern ATM systems will require accurate, high integrity data and information to fully exploit SES/SESAR objectives.

    A-SMGCS – Surface Movement Guidance & Control System

    • System providing routing, guidance and surveillance for control of aircraft and vehicles relies on highly accurate assured aerodrome information.

    SWIM - System Wide Information Management

    • A SES initiative concerning pilots, airport operations, airline operations centres, ANSP, MET, military ops, to share aeronautical information for flight trajectory planning, aerodrome ops, meteorological forecasts, air traffic flow management, surveillance data capacity and demand information on airspace users needs of services, and access to airspace.

    CAA Aeronautical Information Management Policy – CAP 1054

    In fulfilling its legislative obligations to the ADQ IR, the Aeronautical Information Management Regulation (AIMR) section of the UK CAA has published a CAA publication ‘Aeronautical Information Management’ (CAP 1054) that includes the necessary state policy and guidance that will facilitate stakeholder compliance with the regulation. 

    The CAA has underwritten the quality of airspace information currently published in the UK AIP during the transition to the new AIM System.

    Eurocontrol Specifications

    Eurocontrol Specifications have been produced under the Eurocontrol Regulatory and Advisory Framework and delivered as “possible means of compliance” with the relevant articles and annexes of the ADQ IR. They are not “Community Specifications” under Article 4 of the SES Interoperability Regulation ((EC) No 552/2004), compliance with which would have resulted in a legal presumption of compliance with the ADQ IR itself. However, the CAA recognises the Eurocontrol Specifications, and their use will enable conformity with the relevant ADQ IR articles and annexes (The CAA has not submitted any separate UK Alternative Means of Compliance to EASA).

    The Eurocontrol Specifications are described below:

    • Data Assurance Levels (DAL) - Specifies all applicable data assurance objectives, written to support implementation of requirements regarding processing of aeronautical data from origination through to publication by the Aeronautical Information Service Provider (AISP) to the next intended user.
    • Data Quality Requirements (DQR) – Specifies the Data Assurance Level for aeronautical data in-scope of the ADQ IR.
    • Data Origination Vol 1 & 2 – Specifies the data origination standards applicable to originators such as surveyors, instrument flight procedure designers, airspace designers, written to support implementation of requirements included in Article 6(4) and (6) of Commission Regulation (EU) 73/2010, and is presented in two volumes:
      • Volume 1 contains the objectives necessary to meet the ADQ IR obligations;
      • Volume 2 contains recommended objectives that may be adopted.
    • Aeronautical Information Exchange (AIX) – enables the standardised encoding and the distribution in digital format of the aeronautical information/data that is in the scope of ADQ IR and sets out the use of the Aeronautical Information Exchange Model (AIXM), proposing the use of the AIXM V5.1 to demonstrate compliance with data exchange requirements.
    • Electronic Aeronautical Information Publication (eAIP) – Specifies the common standard for the representation of aeronautical information in the AIP and is applicable only to the AISP.

    These Eurocontrol Specifications and other guidelines supporting harmonized application and implementation of data quality requirements are available to download from the Aeronautical Data Quality area of the Eurocontrol web site.

    UK and European Guidance

    Eurocontrol have also produced a number of supporting documents which users may find useful. UK Stakeholders should note however that CAA Aeronautical Information Management publication (CAP 1054) describes UK policy and guidance in respect of clarifying ADQ IR requirements and has overriding authority over any contradictory guidance provided in other guidance documents.

    For further information contact aimr@caa.co.uk.