Successful site acceptance tests marked the culmination of implementing four highly specialised gateways (OLDI FDE/FMTP) at the Swanwick and Whitley centres of British air navigation service provider (ANSP), NATS.

The systems were delivered, installed and tested by key supplier and manufacturer COMSOFT in less than five months to comply with the European Commission’s Regulation 633/2007. It requires mandates that all flight data processing systems in Europe are to be capable of exchanging their OLDI messages via FMTP and TCP/IP by April 2011. Current implementations in the UK however, still operate on the previous FDE-ICD specification using the X.25 protocol, which is not compatible with FMTP specifications.

This highly specialised gateway will save NATS a considerable amount of both costs and time which would have been necessary to adapt the existing systems to FMTP and in the next steps of connecting them to the Pan-European Network Services (PENS) and the completion of Integrated System Assurance. At the same time the gateway enables the successive transition of multiple OLDI systems while guaranteeing interoperability between all systems.

For the realisation of this project NATS selected the product COFFEE (COMSOFT OLDI FMTP/FDE Enhanced gateway) based on COMSOFT’s market-leading multi-purpose gateway (AIDA-NG), trusted by numerous air navigation service providers in Europe.

Owing to both the system’s exceptional maturity and the outstanding collaboration between NATS and COMSOFT staff members, the stringent implementation schedule could be met. As a result, NATS is expected to be among the first ANSPs to have the capability to comply with the new EC regulation on a national basis.