Air navigation service providers (ANSPs) are globally moving from Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Networks (AFTN) to ATS Message Handling Systems (AMHS) to enable a highly performant and future-proof environment for current and future rich data exchange.

To allow business continuity and adapt to technology changes while providing enhanced services, Comsoft Solutions and SITA, the air transport IT and communications specialist, have successfully developed and deployed an XML Type X-AMHS Gateway in Atlanta, allowing the exchange of legacy and rich data between airlines and ANSPs.

The ability of AMHS to transmit XML-based data formats plays an important role in the evolving needs of air traffic management, facilitating the transmission of critical messages, regardless of the message size or characteristics. The XML Type X-AMHS Gateway consists of a redundant operational and contingency system with switchover facility that offers full integration with SITA Type B and Type X infrastructure.

Comsoft Solutions’ MHS business unit manager, Uwe Kurpat, noted: "The SITA gateway enables reliable and secure data exchange across the air transport industry to ease the migration to AMHS. By combining our expertise in AMHS with SITA, who have over 40 years’ experience operating a Type B-AFTN data sharing gateway, we are able to provide an appropriate solution for the adoption of AMHS and facilitate the use of XML."

Dominique El Bez, vice-president messaging at SITA, commented: "As the industry leader, it is our role to leverage our air transport messaging expertise to provide fit-for-purpose solutions that respond to modern business needs.

"The collaboration between Comsoft Solutions and SITA simplifies and reduces the cost of supporting specific air traffic control-related connections and platforms to adapt to the required ANSP environment. At the same time, it makes all necessary conversions to deliver to AFTN or AMHS using Type X and Type B for enhanced data exchange."

Airlines, airports, aircraft, ground handlers, governments, air cargo, aerospace, air navigation service providers and international organisations use SITA’s information and communication technology solutions, relying on its expertise to keep the industry in motion. Moreover, SITA received a private domain under ICAO global domain as well as their approval to connect to AMHS, which allows SITA to have modern connectivity to AMHS while expanding its global reach.

Comsoft Solutions provides its market-leading AMHS messaging solution, AIDA-NG, to its worldwide customer base. Currently, 84% of all worldwide AMHS connections are made by organisations using Comsoft Solutions’ AIDA-NG, highlighting the German expert’s proficiency in AFTN to AMHS migration.