Comprehensive study will pave the way for the implementation of ATN directory services and the AMHS extended service in Europe.

EUROCONTROL entrusted the renowned German AMHS expert COMSOFT with the execution of a study of fundamental importance on the operational use and implementation of European directory services in support of the air traffic services message handling system (AMHS) and further ATN applications. The use of directory services by the AMHS is a key element of the extended ATS message handling service (ATSMHS) as defined by ICAO AMHS SARPs and the EUROCONTROL specification on the air traffic services message handling system (AMHS) which was recognised as the European AMHS community specification. AMHS user characteristics and information for address conversion at the AFTN/AMHS gateways are essential elements intended to be held by the ATN directory. Moreover, the ATN directory is prepared to contain a wide variety of additional information such as public key certificates facilitating the implementation of security in ATN applications.

Until the availability of global ATN directory services, EUROCONTROL’s ATS messaging management centre (AMC) took over the global distribution of such information, which requires manual procedures.

The study is intended to elaborate and practically demonstrate how this information can be automatically distributed using directory services. In addition to technical aspects, special attention and emphasis will be given to both the operational requirements of air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and internationally harmonised agreements and processes. The work, based on the ICAO 9880 and AMHS CS, will take into account the existing implementations.

By this means, the study will pave the way for the operational use of ATN directory services and the efficient distribution of information. As a result, this
study is of relevance not only for the EUROCONTROL member states but also gives direction to the implementation of AMHS extended service world wide.

In April, EUROCONTROL will present first results at the annual ASFG meeting in Paris. The study is planned to be completed in August 2011.

COMSOFT is the world’s leading supplier of AMHS systems for basic and extended ATS message handling services. The company has extensive experience in the deployment of directory services within the air traffic control environment. In the framework of this study, COMSOFT will be supported by directory specialist eB2Bcom, a leading supplier of identity management solutions and directory services.