A Frazer-Nash gap analysis is helping Ministry of Defence (MOD) No1 AIDU to ensure its aeronautical digital information meets European regulations underpinning the Single European Sky (SES) airspace initiative.
The SES initiative aims to treat the increasingly busy skies above Europe as a single airspace, enhancing air traffic capacity, improving safety and saving around £3.5 billion (€4 billion) a year. Frazer-Nash undertook a technical gap analysis of the Ministry of Defence's aeronautical information departments, No1 AIDU and the Defence Geographic Centre Geospatial Air Information Team (DGC GAIT), to identify where capability could be developed to enable compliance with European Commission regulations.
Frazer-Nash Senior Consultant, Chris McDonald, describes the work undertaken:
"A key element of the SES programme is to improve the use of digital technologies, enabling the aviation authorities involved to manage and share their data and information electronically - with machine to machine and system to system interoperability. This digital data has to demonstrate levels of quality and integrity not previously possible - requirements which are enshrined in the European Commission Regulation commonly referred to as 'ADQIR'1.
"MOD was looking for independent advice on its routes to ADQIR compliance. Working collaboratively with No1 AIDU, Frazer-Nash's holistic assessment looked at data systems used for acquisition, processing and sharing, covering not only technology issues but pan-defence lines of development (DLOD) aspects including safety, security, documentation and working processes.
"Our detailed analysis showed No1 AIDU and DGC GAIT current capabilities against the standards, confirming its compliance position. Presented in a visual format, it enabled senior stakeholders to quickly understand and interpret the current position and any gaps, communicating options clearly and impartially. A final report made a number of recommendations, helping to inform MOD strategies to address compliance issues and develop future capabilities."
An MOD spokesperson said:
"The Frazer-Nash team's breadth of engineering skills meant they could explore all aspects of ADQIR, including safety, quality, security and software applications. Working in partnership, all parties were able to identify the best outcomes for No1 AIDU, with Frazer-Nash providing independent, impartial and platform agnostic advice in MOD's best interests, allowing us to understand the issues and consider all potential routes for compliance.
"Whilst currently there is a military exemption for ADQIR, UK defence intends to be compliant where possible to ensure the safety and integrity benefits are passed on to the users of our publications. The more fully informed the better."
1 European Commission Regulation (EU) No. 73/2010 (amended by (EU) No. 1029/2014), Aeronautical Data Quality Implementing Rule (commonly known as ADQIR).
Ministry of Defence (MOD) Aeronautical Information Provision
No1 AIDU and DGC GAIT are responsible for the provision of aeronautical information products and services to UK defence. These units deliver timely, accurate and coherent worldwide aeronautical information products and services to support defence operational, legal and mandated flight safety requirements.