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Flight deck-based Interval Management - Spacing (FIM-S) Data Link Request. Presenter: Randy Bone (SC-186 / WG-51 Requirements Focus Group (RFG)) Past Contributors: John Brown, John Koelling, Ian Levitt, Bogdan Petricel, Stuart Searight, and Jörg Steinleitner SC-214 / WG-78 Plenary 2010 May.

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flight deck based interval management spacing fim s data link request

Flight deck-based Interval Management - Spacing (FIM-S) Data Link Request

Presenter: Randy Bone (SC-186 / WG-51 Requirements Focus Group (RFG))

Past Contributors: John Brown, John Koelling, Ian Levitt, Bogdan Petricel, Stuart Searight, and Jörg Steinleitner

SC-214 / WG-78 Plenary

2010 May


Flight deck-based Interval Management – Spacing (FIM-S)

  • Past Activities
  • FIM-S Application
  • Status
  • Main Communications
  • Potential Ground to Air Communication Requirements
  • Potential Air to Ground Communication Requirements
  • 3rd Party / IM Target Identification
  • IM Instruction
  • Voice versus Datalink
  • Where It Could be Implemented
  • Summary Points
  • Proposal
  • Inter-Special Committee Requirements Agreement (ISRA)
    • Proposed ISRA content
  • Future Activities
  • References
  • SC-214 / WG-78 develop requirements for the SC-186 / WG-51 Requirements Focus Group (RFG) Flight deck-based Interval Management (FIM)-Spacing concept
    • FIM-S is one airborne application from Package 1 set of applications under development by RFG
    • FIM-S aka Sequencing and Merging
past activities
Past Activities
  • December 17, 2009 – SC-186 Plenary action to RFG to initiate FIM-S (aka IM) activity and brief ICC
  • January 19, 2010 – First RFG briefing to ICC
  • February 17 – Second RFG briefing to ICC
  • March 17 – ICC report to PMC
  • March – April – Inter-Special Committee Requirements Agreement (ISRA) developed
  • April 16 – SC-186 Approved ISRA
fim s application
FIM-S Application
  • Flight crew is conducting a spacing task off one or two aircraft
    • Either achieving or maintaining a spacing
    • Sample applications: En route spacing (miles / minutes in trail), merging en route flows for descent, merging arrival streams, merging departure flows, dependent parallel approaches
  • ATC initiates the operation by providing the flight crew target and spacing information
  • ATC remains responsible for separation
    • Spacing interval will be outside separation requirements
  • ATC is delivered aircraft with appropriate spacing (e.g., in-trail) but intervenes as necessary
  • Spacing task can be conducted in terminal and en route
  • Spacing can be time-based or distance-based
  • With the exception of an initial turn maneuver, speed is used exclusively for spacing
expected im benefits
Expected IM Benefits
  • Consistent, low variance spacing within aircraft pairs at specific point
  • Continued Optimized Profile Descent (OPD) operations, with the associated benefits in medium density environments
  • Reduced ATC interventions and workload
    • Without unacceptable increase in flight crew workload
  • One of the most beneficial applications in the Application Integrated Work Plan (AIWP) v 1.0
    • Benefits story continuing to mature
fim s sample equipment





FIM-S Sample Equipment








  • SC-186 FIM-S development
    • Being developed as part of package 1 under SC-186 / WG-51 International RFG WG
    • Developing SPR v2
    • OSED mature. OPA and OSA maturing.
    • Information needs developing and should be available in v2
    • SPR expected to be completed in late 2010 / early 2011
    • Application is “fast-tracked”
    • FIM-S ASAS MOPS (DO-317 update) expected in late 2011
  • Defined as one of the most mature applications in the AIWP also identified as a near term (2009 – 2012) application
  • Field operations
    • UPS and ACSS have certification and operational approval of a specific FIM-S application with some limited experience
main communications
Main Communications
  • Target identification
  • FIM-S initiation instruction
  • FIM-S relevant data (e.g., trajectories)
  • FIM-S suspend / resume
  • FIM-S termination
potential ground to air communication requirements 1 of 3
Potential Ground to Air Communication Requirements (1 of 3)
  • Target aircraft identification information
    • Flight identification – Required for all applications
    • May be for one or two aircraft
    • Standard traffic advisory information - Required for some applications
      • 1. Azimuth from aircraft in terms of the 12-hour clock, or
        • Could / may want to do better than clock position
      • 2. When rapidly maneuvering aircraft prevent accurate issuance of traffic as in 1 above, specify the direction from an aircraft's position in terms of the eight cardinal compass points (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, and NW). This method shall be terminated at the pilot's request.
      • 3. Distance from aircraft in (nautical) miles.
      • 4. Direction in which traffic is proceeding and/or relative movement of traffic.
      • 5. If known, type of aircraft and altitude.
potential ground to air communication requirements 2 of 3
Potential Ground to Air Communication Requirements (2 of 3)
  • Initiation instruction
    • Expectation
      • “Expect…”
    • Application name
      • Including term “Spacing” e.g., “Departure Spacing”
    • Assigned FIM-S spacing interval
      • E.g., 60 seconds, 10 miles, no less than 60 and no greater than 75 seconds
    • Type of spacing interval
      • Precise, Closed, Open
    • Special points
      • Achieve-by (time, location, or altitude)
      • Target reference
      • Termination (time, location, or altitude)
        • Including what to do after the termination point
      • Turn intercept
    • May be for one or two aircraft
  • Target aircraft trajectory information
    • E.g., direct to merge point, named route from database, dynamic route
    • Including target aircraft final approach speed
potential ground to air communication requirements 3 of 3
Potential Ground to Air Communication Requirements (3 of 3)
  • Suspend instruction
    • “Suspend spacing” with “expect to resume…” and instructions on what to do
  • Resume instructions
    • No modifications - “Resume spacing” and (same) target identification
    • Modifications – “Resume spacing” and all the initiation fields
  • Parameter Change
    • Phrase indicating it is a change to a previous instruction and all the initiation fields (although not all fields may be changed)
    • ATC query of status such as current interval
  • Termination
      • “Terminate [application name]” followed by instructions for what to do, including reason for termination
potential air to ground communication requirements
Potential Air to Ground Communication Requirements
  • Target aircraft identification reply
    • E.g., “Target located,” “Searching for target”
    • Bearing and range (for positive identification)
  • FIM-S initiation instruction reply
    • “Wilco” “Unable” and “Standby”
  • Any questions of target identification or initiation are done over voice
  • Monitoring downlinks
    • FIM-S started (i.e., FIM-S speeds being followed)
  • New sector check-in message
    • FIM-S status
  • Termination message
    • “Unable[application name]” followed by reason why
      • Specify reason options (slowing for turbulence, loss of data quality) and leave options for free text
  • Need to also include background ATC messages/clearances that enable and inform the background procedure (e.g. STAR) in which the aircraft is engaged while performing FIM-S?
3 rd party im target identification 1 of 2
3rd Party / IM Target Identification (1 of 2)
  • Target aircraft identification information can be used for applications already defined and implemented (other than FIM)
  • Voice protocol is being defined now by SBS with a current proposal
    • However, concerns have been raised numerous times about having a third party identification in communications as the third party aircraft could mistakenly assume the message was for them.
    • Voice procedure may be cumbersome
  • In European study of FIM in Paris airspace, the authors reported that despite reporting favorably on the concept, controller reported “…Data-Link is essential for the target aircraft selection as it saves a lot of time…Data-Link was very well accepted for the third party identification and contributed to ASAS acceptability.” (Hébraud & Cloërec, 2007)
    • Controllers had a choice between voice and datalink and used datalink a majority of the time
3 rd party im target identification 2 of 2
3rd Party / IM Target Identification (2 of 2)
  • An ideal implementation would allow the controller to select the target on the scope, uplink the information, and have the target highlighted on the FIM equipment for flight crew confirmation
  • CPDLC becomes even more important when there is more than one target aircraft as proposed for dependent runway operations
im initiation instruction
IM Initiation Instruction
  • Advanced ASA application will have some unique initiation instructions
  • Despite reporting favorably on the concept, controllers have reported that the messages are too complex
    • “For controllers, the phraseology is still too complex and too long because of the numerous parameters to be mentioned.” (Hébraud & Cloërec, 2007)
  • UPS field operations and simulations (e.g., Bone, et al., 2007) supporting the activity have only used datalink (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS))
    • …And were able to combine the target identification and IM initiation instruction with no reported issues
voice versus datalink 1 of 2
Voice versus Datalink (1 of 2)
  • Still working in the RFG on the exact communications required from stressing FIM-S implementations but already recognizing that the messages are complex
  • Believe voice is an acceptable near-term implementation for certain, basic implementations only
    • Both the complexity of messages and frequency of use are issues when using voice
    • Datalink enables or improves an implementation, provides enhancements, and reduces potential issues / errors
      • “Controllers found great [benefits] with data link, concerning safety and workload.” (LFV, 2006)
      • “The evaluation of the use of datalink for [FIM] procedures instead of r/t was recommended by controllers.” (DFS, 2005)
voice versus datalink 2 of 2
Voice versus Datalink (2 of 2)
  • Datalink allows for the combination of several voice messages (Bone, et al., 2007 & LFV, 2006)
    • Preferable to have a single message
    • Use of several voice messages was a way to deliver several sets of complex messages. Datalink would reduce the number of exchanges between ATC and flight crews
  • Messages require too much time on frequency and may be difficult to impossible to convey in high density environments
    • Even in lower density environments, benefits can be lost due to requirement for numerous communications
  • Datalink allows for “permanency” of lengthy messages thereby reducing the chances of entry errors
where it could be implemented
Where It Could be Implemented
  • Visual Separation during Approach, has the flight identification option identified in the SPR (DO-314)
    • SBS baseline application (Enhanced Visual Approach)
  • Based on UPS implementation of FIM-S, traffic identification and initiation could be transferred to ATC (from Global Operations Center (GOC))
  • Other airlines have expressed interest in IM
    • Details under discussion and dates TBD
summary points
Summary Points
  • Applications and field implementations already exist that could use datalink for traffic identification and application specific instructions
  • Datalink is believed to be an improvement for certain FIM application communications and required for other FIM application communications
    • Supported by simulation data
  • Dates of late 2011 for SC-214 and SC-186 MOPS align
  • US and Europe appear ready to align datalink and ADS-B application efforts
  • Under the direction of SC-214 / WG-78, develop team with appropriate members to develop requirements, including members of SC-186 / WG-51 and SBS Program Office
inter special committee requirements agreement isra
Inter-Special Committee Requirements Agreement (ISRA)
  • Purpose: Formally capture inter-dependency and establish agreed requirements tasking between SCs
  • Steps
    • 1 — Requesting Committee (RC) Develops ISRA
    • 2 — RC Plenary Approval Decision Point
    • 3 — Initial Tracking Information
    • 4 — ISRA Submitted to Action Committee (AC)
    • 5 — AC Plenary Acceptance of the ISRA Action
    • 6 — AC Documents Response to ISRA
    • 7 — ISRA Completion and Close-out
proposed isra content
Proposed ISRA Content
  • Short title of ISRA
    • Flight deck-based Interval Management - Spacing (FIM-S) Datalink Standards
  • Requirements needed by requesting committee
    • SC186 requests that SC214 consider supporting the development of, and later, adoption of material as an update to DO-290. The material will be generated by a group of knowledgeable subject matter experts who are members of SC214 and SC186. This material will aid in the use of a new capability known as FIM-S (currently termed Interval Management (IM) in SC186). See attachment (TBD) for additional detail on expected needs.
  • Rationale for requirements request
    • SC186 plans to approve a SPR for FIM-S in the winter of 2010. While the SPR provides examples of potential message set elements required for the execution of FIM-S, the authors of the SPR recognize the development of standardized datalink messages is not part of the SPR development process. It is recommended that another group under SC214 be formed to develop these message sets. New standardized messages are a preferred implementation for FIM-S. The material that will be developed for FIM-S is believed to also support other air-to-air ADS-B applications.
future activities
Future Activities
  • May – Submission of ISRA for SC-214 plenary approval
  • May – FIM-S SPR v2
  • Late 2010 / Early 2011 – FIM-S SPR FRAC
  • Late 2011 – FIM-S ASAS MOPS (DO-317 update) and DO-290 update
  • Bone, R. S., Penhallegon, W. J., Stassen, H. P., Simons, E., and DeSenti, C. (2007). Flight Deck-Based Merging and Spacing (FDMS) Impact on En Route Air Traffic Control Operations: FDMS 1 Simulation. May - June 2006.
  • Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) (2005). Sequencing and Merging Simulations. Final Report. Volume 1.
  • Hébraud & Cloërec (2007). Paris Arrivals: a Look at Operations Managed with ASAS. Real Time Simulation Report.
  • Luftfartsverket (LFV) (2006). CPDLC Simulation Report. RTS in Malmoe 13 – 16 February 2006.