Hong Kong and Macao, Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China, have moved their aeronautical messaging service from AFTN to the new standard AMHS. Outstanding engagement on the customers’ side impressed German system supplier COMSOFT and underlines the system’s maturity.

On 29 December 2009 the Civil Aviation Department of Hong Kong (HKCAD) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Macao (AACM) upgraded their operational messaging services to AMHS for the exchange of flight plans and other aeronautical messages. Both air navigation service providers operate COMSOFT’s well-established AMHS system, AIDA-NG, which conforms to ICAO SARPs.

After having performed elaborate preparation and comprehensive testing according to the guidelines of the ICAO AMHS manual at an earlier implementation stage, the professional and technically versed teams of HKCAD and AACM performed the transition without any assistance needed from the supplier. This outstanding success was fostered by intense training and AIDA-NG’s elaborate system design that dovetails the administration of AMHS in the very same comfortable and well-conceived way as for AFTN.

Boosting the switch to AMHS

Being one of the eight designated backbone sites of the aeronautical telecommunication network (ATN) in Asia and the Pacific Region, Hong Kong is well prepared to establish ATN and AMHS connections with other adjacent backbone sites such as Beijing and Bangkok. Only a few countries worldwide have implemented operational AMHS links, but COMSOFT can boast successful transitions in Europe (2004), the Middle East (2009) and now Asia (2009).

Encouraged by these paragon implementations a steadily growing number of COMSOFT’s customer organisations in Asia, the Middle East and South America are now in preparations for their first operational AMHS connection.

Compared to AFTN, AMHS provides a multitude of advantages such as higher data speed and capacity, enhanced data security and integrity, unlimited message length and attachment of files containing related aeronautical information such as graphical charts.