“AFIS today!” seminar - the beginning of an AFIS network throughout Europe

Press Release

On the 21st and 22nd of September, Entry Point North AB - Nordic ATS Academy hosted the biggest AFIS seminar in Europe, gathering representatives from 16 states. AFIS operators, air traffic controllers, training academy delegates, pilots, Air Navigation Service Provider managers, Civil Aviation Authority representatives, training instructors, a Eurocontrol AFIS regulation specialist and many other aviation related personnel, all gathered to analyse, discuss and investigate ways in which to improve what was generally called: “AFIS today!”.

The seminar offered participants the opportunity to exchange experiences and disseminate information regarding best practice working methods within their different AFIS environments in Europe. What started out as a simple idea to create a harmonious environment in which to bring together professionals from the aviation industry quickly received an overwhelming amount of interest, and turned into a
world class event.

The seminar’s 62 participants came from 16 different states throughout Europe: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom.

The seminar agenda included subjects about:

- The upcoming Eurocontrol guidelines for AFIS,
- Experiences from the use of ATS surveillance systems / radars,
- AFIS and the pilot’s perspective.
- Information about the Aerodrome Resource Management and Safety Management Service concepts for AFIS aerodromes,
- Information about AFIS throughout Europe,
- Initial and refresher/development training.

One of the seminar’s success factors was the participants’ open attitude and desire to share information about local AFIS practices, and to learn from their colleagues. All 16 participating states have shown the same keen interest in learning more about how AFIS is developed and handled outside their own country. The seminar brought to light some remarkable differences in AFIS practices.

Cay Boquist, a Eurocontrol specialist in AFIS regulation, guided a session discussing the idea of a Eurocontrol AFIS manual; the first of it’s kind. The concept of harmonising AFIS throughout Europe was discussed too. Seminar participants felt that now more than ever there is a need to have a harmonised AFIS network throughout Europe. All participants also agreed that the sharing of best practice working methods should be mandatory.

The seminar gave participants the opportunity to attend workgroups and discuss a selection of important issues: Safety Management Service, Aerodrome resource management, Training and competency within ATS training, Pilot perspective.

Morten Nielsen, AFIS manager at Sønderborg Airport, delivered a presentation concerning the use of radar when providing AFIS. An AFIS service with the aid of radar has been in use at Sønderborg in Denmark for many years. The concept was discussed in great detail and examples of various working situations along with
phraseology were given.

The seminar’s main conclusion is that the local execution of AFIS should be carried out in conjunction with a set of common regulations. In this light, the much sought after Eurocontrol AFIS manual is expected to be a major step towards the harmonisation of AFIS practices.

The “AFIS today!” seminar hosted by Entry Point North has provided the first step, and set the course for what we all hope will soon grow into the biggest AFIS network in Europe. The seminar was exceptionally well received by its participants and was considered to be a brave initiative on the part of its organizers and hosts.

For further information regarding Entry Point North please visit www.trynorth.com or send your questions to sales@trynorth.com.