2005

Working Group B
Working Group B held one meeting (WG- B/18) in February in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting reviewed the results of voice quality testing of VDL Mode 3 in the presence of radio interference. The meeting concluded that DSB AM voice reception is susceptible to radio interference, in particular when the RF signal levels are low. The VDL Mode 3 digital voice signal is under similar conditions more robust.
Working Group C
Working Group C held one meeting in April 2005. The meeting reviewed activities undertaken by European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) and the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to identify future communications technologies to meet safety and regularity of flight communications requirements, i.e. those supporting air traffic services (ATS) and aeronautical operational control (AOC). In accordance with the work plan of the panel, the meeting reviewed the operating concepts and requirements work. The purpose of the Future Communication System (FCS) Initial Communications Operating Concept and Requirements (ICOCR) is to develop a mutual understanding of the a) future communications concepts of operation; b) services necessary to achieve the operational concepts; and c) environment(s) in which the services will be delivered. The meeting also reviewed the methodology and progress of the pre-screening phase of the future communications study. This activity reviews potential technologies and assesses their high-level capabilities, projected maturity and their potential applicability to aviation.
The Air Navigation Commission had tasked the AMCP to develop draft SARPs and guidance material for the universal access transceiver (UAT). Accordingly, the ACP developed draft SARPs and a manual containing detailed technical specifications as well as guidance material on implementation issues for the UAT. The UAT subgroup held four meetings in 2005: UAT 8, Langen, Germany, 31 January to 2 February 2005; UAT 9, Montreal, Canada, 28 February to 2 March 2005; UAT 10, Montreal, Canada, 14 to 16 March 2005; and UAT 11, Montreal, Canada, 11 to 13 April 2005. The Air Navigation Commission considered on 10 November 2005 (170 7) the draft SARPs and guidance material for UAT and agreed that the proposed amendments to Annex 10 be transmitted to Contracting States and appropriate international organizations for comments (State letter AN 7/1.3.89 06/8 dated 24 February 2006 refers).
Working Group F
Working Group F held two meetings, WG F/13 in February in Bangkok, Thailand and WG F/14 in August in Malmo, Sweden.
WG F/13 progressed the development of the ICAO position for ITU WRC 07. The meeting reviewed difficulties with regard to the identification of spectrum requirements for new aeronautical communication systems. The meeting agreed to provisions for incorporating in Annex 10 as well as in the ITU Radio Regulations provisions for the use of the frequency 978 MHz for the UAT system. The ICAO position was, after review by the Air Navigation Commission, approved by the Council in June. The meeting, which was combined with the ICAO Regional Preparatory Group for the ITU WRC 07 of the ASIA/PACIFIC Region, also reviewed aspects of the agenda for the ITU WRC 07 which were specific to this region. A proposal for addressing compatibility issues with regard to interference into GBAS that can be caused by FM radio broadcasting transmitters was agreed. This proposal, which provides guidelines to States on the assessment of such interference, was subsequently submitted to the ITU Working Party 8B and is currently under study in ITU. The meeting noted with concern the development of material in ITU on the use of ultra wideband systems (UWB). The current characteristics of these systems are not sufficient to protect aeronautical communication and navigation systems from interference under all conditions. Also, the development of broadband access systems using power lines was noted. These systems, which have the potential to cause harmful interference to in particular HF frequencies, currently exclude the use of the aeronautical HF bands.
WG F/14 concentrated on further developments in the area of preparatory activities by various organizations for ITU WRC 07. The meeting addressed the need for spectrum being available for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), both for telecommand for controlling UAV's (providing a safety-of-life function) and telemetry purposes.
In particular, great concern was expressed about proposals for sharing RF spectrum allocated for the use by the MLS with mobile services, and in particular by aeronautical telemetry. It was agreed that analyses presented to ITU on this matter would not be acceptable by ICAO and require amendments. The meeting further reviewed material relevant to the ITU WP 8B meeting in September.
Working Group M
Working Group M held one meeting, WG M/10, in May, partly in combination with WG B. The progress achieved at the combined meeting with WG B has been reported under the summary of activities for WG B. WG M further progressed the work on revising the AMSS SARPs, while incorporating the material developed at AMCP/7 for next-generation satellite systems. As a result, draft AMSS SARPs have been developed which contain only high level and regulatory material. Almost all of the current AMSS SARPs in Annex 10, Volume III (Chapter 4) has been proposed for incorporation in a manual. Similar manuals can be developed for other AMS(R)S systems, as and when necessary. WG M also reviewed proposed amendments to the Manual on VHF Digital Link (VDL) Mode 3 (Doc 9805) and the Manual on VHF Digital Link (VDL) Mode 4 (Doc 9816). The material developed by WG M was submitted to the ACP Working Group of the Whole meeting in June 2005.
The Iridium Subgroup of Working Group M (WG IRD) held one meeting in 2005. The main tasks of the subgroup are a) to develop an Iridium technical manual in a timeframe that would support the suggested applicability date of the AMS(R)S SARPs by November 2007; b) to create an implementation manual to provide guidance to States on commissioning the system; c) to identify any validation requirements associated with the Iridium technical manual and conduct appropriate validation if necessary; d) to establish a documentation control system to identify and manage the core documents; e) to coordinate with other ICAO panels as appropriate through the ICAO Secretariat; and f) to secure broadest participation from industry in the activities of the sub-group. Draft versions of the above mentioned documents are available for download on the ACP website.
Working Group N
Working Group N held two meetings, WG N/3 in May in Montreal, Canada, and WG N/4 in November in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. In conjunction with these meetings, subgroup meetings were organized. The meetings addressed the ongoing implementation in different regions of TCP/IP rather than the standard ISO/OSI protocol suite, for ground-ground communication systems in the ATN, in particular for AMHS. An important factor is the industry moving away from OSI based commercial products in favour of the worldwide acceptance of the Internet Protocol (IP). Ongoing implementation of air ground ATN over VDL Mode 2, however, is based on the OSI protocols, as specified in the ICAO SARPs and guidance material. Working Group N is in the process of completing its report on the introduction of TCP/IP protocols in Annex 10 and related guidance material, as required, for review by a meeting of the ACP Working Group of the Whole in June/July 2005. The main goal of this activity would be to develop a recommendation to the ANC on the need for ACP to undertake further work in this area. Working Group N progressed work on PM CPDLC material and reviewed the need for introducing an application level (end-to-end) checksum to the ICAO CPDLC messages with the view to provide for an end-to-end security mechanism operating completely separate from the VDL Mode 2 system. This measure would reduce the risks of undetected corrupted messages or their misdelivery. The work on AMHS profiles, with the goal of supporting binary data exchanges such as MET messages in BUFR format was further progressed. These activities are expected to be completed in 2006. Ongoing work in EUROCAE on the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is being monitored by Working Group N.
ACP Working Group of the Whole
A meeting of the ACP Working Group of the Whole was held in June in Montreal, Canada. The meeting reviewed all activities which were undertaken in the various working groups of the panel since AMCP/8 (February 2003).
The Working Group of the Whole agreed to propose the draft SARPs and guidance material for the UAT system for adoption/approval by ICAO. Also, draft amendments to the SARPs and guidance material for the ATN were agreed. It should be in particular noted that new material for a protected mode CPDLC was proposed to be introduced in the Manual of Technical Provisions for the Aeronautical Telecommunication Network (ATN) (Doc 9705). This material will eventually replace the existing material for CPDLC (non-protected mode). The meeting also agreed to recommend ICAO to develop draft SARPs and guidance material for the introduction of IPS in the ATN (ground-ground). This material is to be completed by June 2007. Also, continuation of the feasibility study on using IPS in the air-ground data links was agreed. A report is due by June 2006.
The Working Group of the Whole reviewed draft generic SARPs for the aeronautical mobile satellite (R) service (AMS(R)S and recommended to ICAO to replace the existing material on the AMSS with these generic, mainly functional, SARPs. The Working Group of the Whole agreed to continue to develop guidance material for new satellite systems. A sub group is currently addressing guidance material for the use of the IRIDIUM system in civil aviation. Significant amendments to the Manual on VHF Digital Link (VDL) Mode 3 (Doc 9805) were completed. Frequency assignment planning material for VDL Mode 2 were also completed.
The Working Group of the Whole agreed to the material on new communication systems, as developed by Working Group C. The communications operating concept and requirements for the future radio system was agreed and recommended for information and comments from other ICAO bodies.
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2004

Working Group B
Working Group B held two meetings in 2004, WG-B/16 in Tokyo, Japan in January/February, and B/17 in October in Montreal, Canada. WG-B/16 noted the results of the 11th Air Navigation Conference and, in particular, the increased involvement of ICAO in various interference issues, including on-board integration of new (and possibly existing) systems. This would require a greater involvement of ICAO, and in particular WG-B, since on-board integration issues may require frequency assignment planning considerations. WG-B/17 was partly combined with WG-M/9 and addressed issues relevant to the on-board integration of VDL, an issue that is being addressed by both WG-B and WG-M. WG-B/17 completed the frequency assignment planning material, including relevant guidance material, for VHF digital link (VDL) Modes 2. Further consideration was given to frequency planning material and the on-board integration of VDL Mode 3 and Mode 4. In summary, VDL Mode 3 could operate on the fourth adjacent 25 kHz channel from a DSB-AM assignment and on the second adjacent 25 kHz channel from a VDL Mode 3 assignment. Test planning for VDL Mode 4, including the need for an assignment in the 112 - 117.975 MHz band is on-going. WG-B/17 collected material for the development of ICAO guidance material on radio frequency interference for publication by ICAO to assist Contracting States to control radio frequency interference to aeronautical CNS systems operating within their airspace.
Working Group C
Working Group C held two meetings, WG-C/7 in April in Montreal, Canada, and WG-C/8 in September in Munich, Germany. Various meetings of the UAT subgroup were held during 2004 to progress the work on UAT SARPs and guidance material. Work on the use of new technologies for use in air-ground communication systems is still in a conceptual stage. The likely driving force for introducing a new air-ground communication system is the frequency congestion that is expected in particular in Europe around 2015 with in the VHF band (8.33 kHz channel spacing) and in the United States. Eurocontrol and the United States have agreed on a memorandum of cooperation on the development of a future air-ground communication system; one of the main objectives of this activity is to support the work of ACP Working Group C. High level system requirements are being discussed, and operational requirements to satisfy new applications derived from the new operational concept are under development. With regard to the development of SARPs and guidance material for the universal access transceiver (UAT), the progress of the work is on track for completion by mid-2005. In coordination with SCRSP, on-board compatibility between UAT and SSR and ACAS systems was assessed, and with regard to the compatibility with DME it was noted that utilization of the DME at the first adjacent channel from the UAT frequency would be possible.
Working Group F
Working Group F held two meetings, WG-/11 in February in Nairobi, Kenya, and WG-F/12 in August in Montreal, Canada. The meetings addressed the development of the draft ICAO position for the ITU WRC-2007. Significant amendments, as recommended by the NSP, included the removal from the ICAO position of an allocation to the aeronautical mobile (R) service in the bands used for ILS-Localizer/VOR, ILS-Glide Path and DME/SSR/RNSS. WG-F also extensively coordinated the ICAO submissions to the ITU Study Groups 8B, 8D and Task Group 1/8. Issues addressed were interference from ultra wide-band systems into aeronautical frequency bands and compatibility between GBAS and VDL mode 4 with FM broadcasting. WG-F also reviewed amendments to the Handbook on Radio Frequency Spectrum Requirements for Civil Aviation including Statement of Approved ICAO Policies (Doc 9718), necessary as a result of amendments to the ITU Radio Regulation as agreed at the ITU WRC-2003. Proposals for amending the ICAO radio frequency policy statements in the handbook were also developed. Work on a second volume of this Handbook addressing frequency assignment planning criteria and interference was started. Issues addressed were interference from broadband communication systems of power lines, use by passengers of mobile (cellular) telephones on board aircraft, use of personal electronic devices on board aircraft, and use of cellular base stations in the vicinity of aeronautical receivers (mainly on board an aircraft).
Working Group M
Working Group M held one meeting, WG-M/9, in October/November, partly in combination with WG-B. The progress achieved at the combined meeting with WG-B has been reported under the summary of activities for WG-B. WG-M further progressed the work on revising the AMSS SARPs, while incorporating the material developed at AMCP/7 for next-generation satellite systems. As a result, draft AMSS SARPs have been developed which contain only high level and regulatory material. Almost all of the current AMSS SARPs in Annex 10, Volume III (Chapter 4) has been proposed for incorporation in a manual. Similar manuals can be developed for other AMS(R)S systems, as and when necessary. WG-M also reviewed proposed amendments to the Manual on VHF Digital Link (VDL) Mode 3 (Doc 9805) and the Manual on VHF Digital Link (VDL) Mode 4 (Doc 9816).
Working Group N
Working Group N held two meetings, WG-N/3 in May in Montreal, Canada, and WG-N/4 in November in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. In conjunction with these meetings, subgroup meetings were organized. The meetings addressed the ongoing implementation in different regions of TCP/IP rather than the standard ISO/OSI protocol suite, for ground-ground communication systems in the ATN, in particular for AMHS. An important factor is the industry moving away from OSI-based commercial products in favor of the worldwide acceptance of the Internet Protocol (IP). Ongoing implementation of air-ground ATN over VDL Mode 2, however, is based on the OSI protocols, as specified in the ICAO SARPs and guidance material. Working Group N is in the process of completing its report on the introduction of TCP/IP protocols in Annex 10 and related guidance material, as required, for review by a meeting of the ACP Working Group of the Whole in June/July 2005. The main goal of this activity would be to develop a recommendation to the ANC on the need for ACP to undertake further work in this area. Working Group N progressed work on PM-CPDLC material and reviewed the need for introducing an application level (end-to-end) checksum to the ICAO CPDLC messages with the view to provide for an end-to-end security mechanism operating completely separate from the VDL Mode 2 system. This measure would reduce the risks of undetected corrupted messages or their mis delivery. The work on AMHS profiles, with the goal of supporting binary data exchanges such as MET messages in BUFR format was further progressed. These activities are expected to be completed in 2005. Ongoing work in EUROCAE on the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is being monitored by Working Group N.
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2003

Working Group B
Working Group B (WG-B) held one meeting in January (WG-B/14) and one meeting in May (WG-13/15). WG-B continued to develop frequency assignment planning material, including relevant guidance material, for VHF digital link (VDL) Modes 3 and 4 and to assess the availability of a global signalling channel for VDL Mode 4. A long discussion took place in WG-B on the on-board integration of VDL Mode 4, with regard to problems identified by Airbus and Boeing with implementing VDL Mode 4 on an aircraft. Progress on this issue, that would involve VDL Modes 2 and 3 as well, is hampered by the lack of technical data, specifying the origin of the problem reported. WG-B also noted that VDL Mode 4 could be more susceptible to interference from DSB-AM and VDL Mode 2 systems than was expected. This may also require further consideration with regard to the interference susceptibility for VDL Modes 2 and 3. WG-B/15 addressed these problems further, in particular on the basis of detailed technical information provided on VDL Mode 2 and 3 on-board interference issues. With regard to VDL Mode 4 interference issues, the meeting concluded that Airbus needed to provide detailed technical information to WGB to substantiate its conclusions on VDL Mode 4 implementation.
Working Group C
WG-C held one meeting in October. In addition, a number of meetings of the universal access transceiver (UAT) sub-group were organized. During these meetings, the work on draft Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) for the UAT progressed and the validation phase of the draft SARPs has been started. It is expected that during 2005 the draft SARPs for UAT are complete and can be submitted to ACP for consideration. WG-C also considered results of a study, based on an increased deployment of 8.33 kHz channel spacing, predicting saturation in the VHF band in Europe by 2015. In the United States, saturation of the VHF band, based on the current 25 kHz channel spacing, seems to occur in the same time frame. WG-C continued its evaluation of potential technologies for future mobile communication systems with the view to complete this activity by 2005.
Working Group F
Working Group F held one meeting (WG-F/10) in August in Montreal. With regard to the items to be addressed at ITU WRC-07, WG-F/10 stressed the need to secure spectrum for telemetry purposes, in particular for use by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), future AM(R)S systems and, in the 5 GHz band, for ANLE and aeronautical fixed links, to be used on airports. Also, the limited access to the L-band for satellite communications (as a result of a decision taken at WRC-97) and the need for spectrum for future (aeronautical) next-generation satellite systems (NGSS) was discussed. WG-F/10 was informed on work that is being undertaken by RTCA on interference that can be caused by personal electronic devices that are carried on board an aircraft by passengers. The protection of radars in the frequency band 2 700 -2 900 MHz, planned for use by some administrations for Electronic New Gathering/Outside Broadcast (ENG/OB) was considered. The need for individual assessment of interference, based on the characteristics of the interfering signal, was raised. Subsequent to the meeting, in response to a query originated by WG-F, ICAO was informed by the Radiocommunication Bureau of the ITU that an allocation to the aeronautical mobile (R) service would be required in the DME band to support UAT operation.
Working Group M
WG-M held two meetings, one in April 2003 (WG-M/7) and the second in November 2003 (WG-M/8). The Commission had decided that the maintenance of ATN SARPs and guidance material would be added to the work programme of WG-M. In addition to its maintenance activities of SARPs and manuals, WG-M is involved in implementation issues for communication systems, including on-board integration of systems and coordinates its activities closely with those of WG-B.
WG-M/7 completed the VDL Mode 4 validation, as required by AMCP/8, by reviewing the results of the flight testing with the new data link service (DLS) protocol. The Commission was informed accordingly when it reviewed the report of AMCP/8. WG-M/7 further addressed the difficulties, identified by Airbus, with the integration of VDL Mode 4 on board aircraft. WG-M could not draw any conclusions since the information available was lacking technical details. This matter was also considered at WG-B (see above). WG-M reviewed proposals from the Secretary to split the aeronautical mobile-satellite service (AMSS) SARPs in a set of core SARPs and material that would be incorporated in a new technical manual and agreed to integrate the next-generation satellite systems (NGSS) SARPs, developed by AMCP/7, in the core SARPs and to move most of the current detailed AMSS material into a manual. WG-M/7 also addressed the need to amend in the current SARPs the table of unwanted emission limits from on-board AMSS stations with the view to protect in particular GLObal NAvigation Satellite System (GLONASS) systems.
WG-M/8 considered the organization of its future work on the maintenance of ICAO ATN material. A combined meeting of Working Groups M and N was organized to review arrangements for the maintenance of ATN SARPs and guidance material. At this meeting, a combined subgroup for WGs-M and N was created (ATN Maintenance Subgroup, AMSG) which should develop amendments to the ATN material, in close coordination with WGs-M and N, as required, and report in any case to both WGs-M and N with each working group taking action within its mandate. Discussion items between WGs-M and N should be solved through direct coordination. Further amendments to the VDL Mode 4 manual were agreed. WG-M/8 was informed that on-board interference from DSB-AM voice systems into VDL (Modes 2, 3 and 4) would most likely be more critical than vice versa. Work on this matter is ongoing.
Working Group N
WG-N held two meetings in 2003, WG-N/1in May in Montreal, Canada, and WG-N/2 in November) in Bangkok, Thailand. WG-N/1, which had a more organizational character, reviewed its work programme and created four sub-groups, as follows:
  • SG-N/1: Internet communication services;
  • SG-N/2: Air-Ground applications;
  • SG-N/3: Ground-Ground applications; and
  • SG-N/4: Security Services.
The work in WG-N on the use of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in aeronautical communication is progressing and concentrated in the following issues:
  • the IP subnetwork dependent convergence function (SNDCF) which makes it possible for the ATN internet and its applications to operate over a TCP/IP ATN sub network;
  • the assessment of a potential wider use of TCP/IP protocols in aeronautical networking; and
  • the system-wide information management system, currently being developed in one State.
Reports on these issues, together with any other relevant material, are expected to be completed at the time of ACP/1, for review by the panel.
Continuing work in the area of air-ground applications required close coordination with the Operational Data Link Panel (OPLINKP) as the main source for the relevant operational requirements. WG-N was awaiting formal approval from OPLINKP for developing SARPs and/or guidance material in response to new or enhanced operational requirements for controller-pilot data link communications (CPDLC), which had been specified by European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE).
Although the ATN directory services were included in Edition 3 of Doc 9705, further expansion was necessary. The impact of migrating ATN directory services to TCP/IP (sub) networks and the use of LDAP as an alternative directory service for (sub) regions with a TCP/IP structure required further work. Results on these subjects are expected to be available at ACP/1.
WG-N was informed about several projects under way on the introduction of the ATS message handling system (ATSMHS) and noted the European strategy for implementing TCP/IP in the ground-ground network and the ATN in the air-ground sub-network. WG-N was informed on plans of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to replace alphanumerical codes with binary universal form for the representation of meteorological data (BUFR) codes in aeronautical meteorological messages, starting from 2007. As a possible consequence, all AFTN terminals should be capable of receiving binary data by 2015 and, from 2007, to deliver TDCF (binary) data. The potential support of this requirement by ATS message handling system (AMHS) will be studied by WG-N.
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Establishment

On 13 March 2003, the ANC (162-13) agreed to the establishment of the Aeronautical Communications Panel (ACP), which includes the work programme of both the former AMCP and the former ATNP. Where new members were nominated by States or international organizations to the ACP, these were approved by the Commission. In most cases, however, members of either the AMCP or the ATNP, the nominations of which were already approved by the Commission, continued their work in ACP. The ATNP was dissolved.