The AMS-UK upgrade has gone live; but how does this messaging system shape communication in the aviation industry?
NATS successfully upgraded its aeronautical messaging switch (AMS-UK) system in the UK recently, without any disruption to the airlines and airport operators that receive information from the system.
This upgrade was carried out overnight to minimise disruption, as there are fewer air traffic movements.
It is because of this system that information needed to plan flights and control air traffic flow – as well as any impactful meteorological information – can be exchanged between the relevant aeronautical users across the globe.
Once COMSOFT, the German company that manufactured and installed the system, put it in place, a team of around 20 NATS staff from the engineering design, operations and programs sections carried out a significant amount of work in implementing and managing the transition of the system upgrade in time for the rush of air traffic from the Atlantic in the early hours of the morning.
So what else does this system provide for the aviation industry?
AMS-UK is critical to NATS as a business and for communicating with others in the aviation industry as a whole.
It is also a stepping stone for the implementation of a Single European Sky (SES) – providing a better messaging system for interoperability in joining up Europe’s currently fragmented airspace.
The new AMS-UK system can now provide a whole array of enhanced functions, paving the way for how messages will be exchanged in the future, and therefore enabling a more efficient service.
Some of the enhanced functions include: running on a virtual machine (which supports NATS’ future SESAR strategy); and better hardware for packaging the messages and exchanging them with other Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs).
All ANSPs have a form of messaging system, and under European regulations, they all have to comply with industry standards and provide systems that will be compatible with other systems.
AMS-UK enables NATS to be at the leading edge of data distribution and technology and ensures that we continue to fulfil our licence obligation in providing that service for the next five to seven years (which is when the next upgrade will take place).
This upgraded version is even more reliable and future-proof.
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