According to Amendment 1 to ICAO Doc 4444, a new flight plan format will be in effect from 15 November 2012. In support of the ICAO-driven FPL2012 migration, COMSOFT has launched its AIDA-FPL product, which transforms all flight plan messages from the present format into the new format and vice versa. The AIDA-FPL allows air navigation service providers (ANSP), who are not in the position to upgrade or replace all their ATC systems until the given deadline, to stay interoperable with neighbouring ATC systems and be compliant with the ICAO FPL2012 mandate.

As a result, ANSP benefit from more flexibility while adopting the new format and gain the advantage to avoid investments in their currently used ATM automation systems. AIDA-FPL can either be deployed as a software upgrade of COMSOFT’s market-leading AFTN / AMHS / CIDIN system AIDA-NG, or as stand-alone appliance connecting to the existing AFTN infrastructure. In both cases AIDA-FPL shares the stability and availability of the well-proven AIDA-NG system, consequently making it the first choice in terms of safety aspects.

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of Abu Dhabi pioneered as one of the first ANSP to be equipped with AIDA-FPL. Being already compatible today with both the present and the new flight plan format will facilitate the impending transition phase and enable an early integration programme in 2011.

The ICAO Council approved amendment 1 to the PANS-ATM on 27 May 2008 aims to update the ICAO model flight plan form in order to meet the needs of aircraft with advanced capabilities and the continuously growing system requirements. The amendment affects ATC systems worldwide and is to be carried out by 15 November 2012.