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Baseline Data - ICAO Digital Data Sets

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The Digital NOTAM encoding is based on the general temporality rules of AIXM 5.1, as detailed in the Temporality Concept document. Thus, most Digital NOTAM encodings will produce TEMPDELTA TimeSlices for the affected AIXM features. For example, a temporary navaid out of service event will be encoded as a new TimeSlice with interpretation equal-to 'TEMPDELTA' for the corresponding Navaid and including a property operationalStatus with value 'UNSERVICEABLE'.

Therefore, a pre-requisite for any Digital NOTAM application is the availability of the corresponding static data, in the form of AIXM 5.1(.1) BASELINE TimeSlices. In the example given above, it is required that the Navaid BASELINE TimeSlice is available both to the application that will generate the Digital NOTAM encoding and to the clients who will receive and use the Digital NOTAM data. The BASELINE data can exist locally or in a remote reference database.

The 40th Amendment to the ICAO Annex 15 and the new PANS-AIM specify four digital data sets that are considered as the baseline data for the coding of digital NOTAM:

  • AIP Data Set - providing baseline data for the coding of events that affect points, navaids, routes, airspace, en-route holding, airport, runways and related data such as services;
  • Airport Mapping data sets - providing baseline data for the coding of events that affect teh airport movement area and other airport surfaces;
  • Obstacle data sets - providing baseline data for the coding of temporary obstacles changes, such as light outages;
  • Instrument Flight Procedures data sets - providing baseline data for the coding of Digital NOTAM that affect SID, STAR and Instrument Approach Procedures.

The dependency on the availability of static (baseline) data in a specific data set is indicated for each Digital NOTAM event scenario concerned. Although it is theoretically possible to manually create the baseline data when needed, such an approach would significantly increase the risk of data encoding errors and reduce the quality of the Digital NOTAM data. Therefore, it is considered a critical prerequisite that all BASELINE data necessary for the encoding of the Event Scenarios described in this Specification be available in AIXM 5.1(.1) format.

Digitisation level to match the intended use

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  • flight planning;
  • pilot briefing and in-flight awareness;
  • calculation of engine-out procedures (obstacle data);
  • graphical presentation of the airspace status for VFR/IFR activities;
  • graphical presentation of the aerodrome surface and services status;

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The Digital NOTAM encoding is based on the general temporality rules of AIXM 5.1, as detailed in the Temporality Concept document. Thus, most Digital NOTAM encodings will produce TEMPDELTA TimeSlices for the affected AIXM features. For example, a temporary navaid out of service event will be encoded as a new TimeSlice with interpretation=TEMPDELTA for the corresponding Navaid and including a property operationalStatus=UNSERVICEABLE.

Therefore, a pre-requisite for any Digital NOTAM application is the availability of the corresponding static data, in the form of AIXM 5.1 BASELINE TimeSlices. In the example given above, it is required that the Navaid BASELINE TimeSlice is available both to the application that will generate the Digital NOTAM encoding and to the clients who will receive the AIXM 5.1 data.

The BASELINE data can exist locally or in a remote reference database. Some {{Event Scenarios}} explicitly indicate that certain data has to be taken from the corresponding feature BASELINE. Although it is theoretically possible to manually input such information, when needed, although such an approach would significantly increase the risk of data encoding errors and reduce the quality of the Digital NOTAM data. Therefore, it is considered a critical prerequisite that all BASELINE data necessary for the encoding of the Event Scenarios described in this Specification be available in AIXM 5.1 format.

Solution Completeness

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In order to balance the implementation costs with the expected benefits, an incremental approach is likely to be followed by a large majority of the Digital NOTAM adopters. This raises a potential difficulty, as data users might need to consult two data sources:

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To avoid this difficulty, the Digital NOTAM Specification needs to support from the beginning a complete solution. The NOTAMs that are not yet provided as fully structured digital encodings shall also be also made available through the AIXM 5.1 data source. As a minimum, all text NOTAM shall be provided as "text notes" of the AIXM 5.1 feature concerned. This is supported by the {{ AIXM Event Schema}}, in structured format, with a dedicated NOTAM object, which can also be used as data source for text in NOTAM briefing applications.

Automatic text NOTAM generation

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As a general principle, the encoding of the Digital NOTAM shall occur first and the application that supports the encoding shall be able to automatically generate the corresponding text NOTAM message, which complies with the International Civil Aviation Organisation ( ICAO ) requirements. The NOTAM shall also comply with eventual regional guidelines, such as contained in the European Operating Procedures for AIS Dynamic Data (OPADD).

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In addition, developers of Digital NOTAM encoding application shall be aware that in particular situations the operator might need to adjust the content of the Q line (code, purpose, area of influence, etc.) in order to ensure a certain processing for that NOTAM for pre-flight purpose. Therefore, it might be necessary to allow modifications in the items A and Q of an automatically generated text NOTAM. Manual intervention in the other NOTAM items is strongly discouraged.

Use of lower case

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The Event schema allows the automatic generated NOTAM text to be coded and provided as part of the Digital NOTAM data set. As for its distribution it is possible to use more advanced channels than AFTN, there is no constraint for this text to be only in upper case. As demonstrated by several human factors studies, the use of the usual "sentence case" mix of lower and upper case improves the readability of the information. This is particularly important for Pre-flight Information Bulletin (PIB) applications. Therefore, the Digital NOTAM Specification provides rules for generating the NOTAM text using lower case in general, while upper case is used only in specific cases, such as start of a sentence, place names, certain abbreviations and acronyms, etc.For NOTAM transmission over AFTN, the conversion into full upper case will still have to be done, but it is straight-forward.

NOTAM content versus digital data

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