Better terrain data, smarter air traffic

By : |March 8, 2010 0

DENVER: Intermap, a worldwide 3D digital mapping and geospatial solutions company, and Skyguide, the organization responsible for providing air navigation services within Swiss airspace and in the airspace of certain adjoining regions in neighboring countries, will provideICAO-compliant and seamless terrain data for eTOD Areas 1 and 2 as well as any customer-supplied data in an industry-compatible database.

Under ICAO mandates, member states are required to provide more accurate terrain and obstacle data in the vicinity of aerodromes as part of a strategy to increase the safety while efficiently managing the growth in air traffic. Intermap’s aviation data service will allow air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and civil aviation authorities (CAAs) to operationally plan more efficiently while providing an increased level of quality, all enabled by the unprecedented accuracy and consistency of Intermap’s NEXTMap elevation data and its multi-nation coverage.

Intermap Technologies and Skyguide has announced the formation of a formal cooperation to deploy an advanced terrain and obstacle solution in support of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO’s) Electronic Terrain and Obstacle Data (eTOD) mandated initiative.

“Intermap and Skyguide are able to bring an affordable solution to the marketplace at a time when there is a lot of pressure to reduce costs within the industry,” stated Tony Brown, Intermap’s vice president of data products. “We are pleased that we have formed this cooperation with Skyguide to help provide solutions for the new eTOD requirements. The availability of our uniform elevation datasets across Western Europe enables us to solve the needs of multiple organizations that are working to meet these requirements.”

The NEXTMap dataset will enable ANSPs and other users to create more accurate planning of arrival and departure routes. Historical cross-border harmonization problems, such as lack of standardized data format and ease of use, are no longer issues, allowing users to concentrate on the operational use of the data. The seamless data can also be used by other applications like radio navigation coverage calculations, simulations, or terrain warning systems such as minimum altitude warning systems (MSAW) and others, says a press release.

"High quality and timely data is becoming vital for the aviation industry,” stated Jürg Brönnimann, Skyguide’s head of Aeronautical Information Management (AIM). “Skyguide is pleased to have Intermap as a business partner to provide seamless high-quality terrain data and the capabilities to develop and deliver value-added services based on the terrain and obstacle data."

“Under this solution, customers will be freed from the daunting task of acquiring ICAO-compliant terrain data sets from different states, harmonizing, and transforming them into a seamless dataset that can be used for planning,” continued Brown. “This uniform dataset allows ANSPs to easily perform procedure design and radio navigation coverage calculations, and supports other operational aspects of the industry. Ultimately, the data will save time and effort for every cross-border area for which an ANSP or airline company performs planning activities.”

The service will include options to include the collection of terrain and obstacles in eTOD Areas 3 and 4, provisioning of a Web interface, and the creation of powerful analytical tools not typically present in ATM-industry-standard software. The process for collecting the NEXTMap dataset is currently undergoing certification by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


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