Future air traffic operations as envisioned by the Next Generation (Next Gen) Air Transportation System will require a new flexible networkable voice communications system with flexible networking capabilities. NVS is the key voice communication component for the Next Gen System.
The NAS Voice System (NVS) is a key enabling program for Next Gen. The FAA conducted a study of voice switching which concluded the current switch bases are old with looming supportability problems. Seventeen different switches are used in the National Airspace System and many are already experiencing severe obsolescence issues. Technical refresh can sustain the En route VSCS for the near term but a new switch program should be started soon. A new small "bridge" switch program for TRACON and tower applications should be implemented between the end of the current terminal switching program and the start of NVS. The Next Gen minimum for operating in controlled airspace is a voice capability which supplements data communications for tactical situations and emergencies. One of the key transformations is that air-to-ground voice communication is no longer limited by geographical facility boundaries. This allows greater flexibility for developing and using airspace/traffic assignments in all airspace. Next Gen voice communication paths will be controlled by an intelligent network. Current voice switches are not network enabled and cannot be modified for installation in new facilities resulting from Next Gen. The NVS is currently in a planning phase but is scheduled to be operational by the year 2016.

System Wide Information Management
The implementation of the SWIM concept will enable direct ATM business benefits to be generated by assuring the provision of commonly understood quality information delivered to the right people at the right time. Given the transversal nature of SWIM which is to go across all ATM systems, data domains, and business trajectory phases (planning, execution, post-execution) and the wide range of ATM stakeholders, it is not expected that one solution and certainly not one single technology will fit all. Nevertheless it is recognized that global interoperability and standardization are essential and SWIM is expected to be an important driver for new and updated standards. SWIM will be based on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and open and standard mainstream technologies.
Who needs to share information?
  • Pilots – taking off, navigating and landing the aircraft
  • Airport Operations Centers –managing departures, surface movements, gates and arrivals
  • Airline Operations Centers – building schedules, planning flight routing and fuel uplift, ensuring passenger connections and minimizing the impact of delays
  • Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) –organizing and managing the airspace over a country and with Air Traffic Services – managing air traffic passing through their airspace
  • Meteorology Service Providers – providing weather reports and forecasts
  • Military Operations Centers – planning missions, blocking airspace to conduct training operations, fulfilling national security tasks
What kind of information needs to be shared?
  • Aeronautical - Information resulting from the assembly, analysis and formatting of aeronautical data
  • Flight trajectory – the detailed route of the aircraft defined in four dimensions (4D), so that the position of the aircraft is also defined with respect to the time component.
  • Aerodrome operations – the status of different aspects of the airport, including approaches, runways, taxiways, gate and aircraft turn-around information.
  • Meteorological – information on the past, current and future state of earth's atmosphere relevant for air traffic'.
  • Air traffic flow – the network management information necessary to understand the overall air traffic and air traffic services situation.
  • Surveillance – positioning information from radar, satellite navigation systems, aircraft data links, etc.
  • Capacity and demand – information on the airspace users needs of services, access to airspace and airports and the aircraft already using it.
Sharing information today

sharing information tomorrow
Airport Surface Detection Equipment
ASDE-X is a traffic management system for the airport surface that provides seamless coverage and aircraft identification to air traffic controllers. The system uses a combination of surface movement radar and transponder multilateration sensors to display aircraft position labeled with flight call-signs on an ATC tower display. The integration of these sensors provides data with an accuracy, update rate and reliability suitable for improving airport safety in all weather conditions. This system also features advanced conflict detection and alerting technology, Safety Logic, which uses complex algorithms to alert controllers of potential aircraft and/or vehicle incursions. Further, the system is architect-ed to support Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B). The FAA has deployed ASDE-X at 35 of the busiest airports in the United States.
In addition to improving safety through runway incursion prevention, the quality of the ASDE-X data resulting from the fusion of multiple surveillance sources enables decision support for:
  • Positive correlation of flight plan information with aircraft position on controller displays;
  • Seamless surveillance coverage of the airport from arrival through departure;
  • Elimination of blind spots and coverage gaps; and
  • Highly accurate, high update surveillance enabling:
    • situational awareness even in inclement conditions
    • conflict detection and resolution