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ICAO Message ICAO MHS Networks AviSuite’s modular design is scalable

to build small to large and high-avail-

Handling Systems ICAO has established Standards and
Recommended Practices that require
ablity COM Centres. Single and multi
switch systems including network
all contracting states to provide and solutions are configurable.
support the Aeronautical Fixed Service
(AFS). For decades the Aeronautical The following switch variants are
Fixed Telecommunication Network available:
(AFTN) and, in the EUR/NAT and the
MID Regions, the X.25 based Com-  AFTN switch
mon ICAO Data Interchange Network  AFTN/CIDIN switch
(CIDIN) have been used for the ex-  Integrated AFTN/AMHS switch
change of aeronautical messages. Due with gateway functionality
to certain limitations concerning the  Integrated AFTN/CIDIN/AMHS
message format and the need to switch with gateway functionality
transport binary encoded data ICAO
has strongly encouraged the intro- All variants include a Store and For-
duction of ATS Message Handling ward Module (SFM) supporting mes-
Systems (AMHS). sage retrieval and repetition functions
and ensuring zero message loss in
case of system restart.

In addition to these server switching

components AviSuite also offers end-
user client applications:

 AFTN User Agent

 AMHS User Agent

AFTN Component

The AviSuite AFTN Component pro-

vides the functionality of an AFTN
COM Centre strictly conformant to
ICAO Annex 10, Vol. II, Amendment
85. It facilitates routing and relaying of
messages with multiple addressee
indicators, including Predetermined Dis-
tribution Addressee Indicators (PDAI)
and Multi Circuit Distribution. It sup-
ports asynchronous lines, TCP/IP, X.25,
X29, TCP/IP, dial-in/dial-out connec-
AviSuite MHS Overview tions via PSTN and FAX connections.
Both IA5 and ITA-2 message formats
Avitech’s AviSuite MHS Overview prod- can be used. The maximum mes-
uct family supports AMHS, AFTN and sage text length can be configured up
CIDIN and provides an AFTN/AMHS to 64,000 characters. AFTN service
gateway, thus ensuring interoperabil- messages are configurable to be proc-
ity between the AFTN/CIDIN and the essed and generated automatically or
AMHS networks. upon operator action.
CIDIN Component Monitoring and Control AMC Interface

The AviSuite CIDIN component com- The integrated Monitoring and Control The conversion of AFTN addresses
prises a CIDIN/AFTN application and a Position (iMCP) provides a user-friendly into AMHS and vice-versa is controlled
CIDIN protocol stack. The application graphical interface to manage all by address look-up tables which
converts AFTN messages into CIDIN components of an AFTN/CIDIN/AMHS must have the same content in each
format and vice-versa and maps message switch. It indicates all sys- gateway worldwide in order to en-
the AFTN Destination Addresses (AD) tem events to administrators and sure that all messages passing gate-
onto CIDIN Exit Centre Addresses operators. Different types of system ways are switched correctly. The
(AX). The protocol stack handles the events can be configured as audible/ amount of addressing data and the crit-
Entry/Exit Centre transport protocol visible alarms which have to be icality of faulty assignment make
and the network layer protocol with acknowledged. A large variety of com- an automatic support of COM Centre
the routing and relaying of CIDIN mands allows channel control, circuit operators at the configuration of their
packets by their AX addresses. Both and address diversion, etc. AFTN/AMHS gateways indispensable.
PVCs and SVCs are supported. The EUROCONTROL’s ATS Messaging
CIDIN functionality fully meets ICAO Multiple versions of configuration ta- Management Centre (AMC) provides
EUR Doc 005 – EUR CIDIN Manual, bles can be maintained for all applica- coordinated MD-, CAAS and User
6th edition. tions; specific checks ensure that Address look-up tables in CSV format
only mutually consistent table sets can to the COM Centres for download.
be activated. A comfortable user interface allows
AMHS Component import of these data into the directory,
AFTN messages received with format thus making them available not
The AviSuite AMHS component con- errors and/or non-routable addresses only to the MTCU, but also to the User
sists as a minimum of an X.400 Mes- are forwarded to an intelligent correc- Agents.
sage Transfer Agent (MTA) and an tion position.
X.500 Directory Server. The MTA ex- Furthermore, the AviSuite switch pro-
changes AMHS messages with other The operator can retrieve and repeat vides statistics data as specified in
MTAs via the P1 message transfer messages using a variety of search ICAO EUR Doc 021 – ATS Messaging
protocol, with AMHS User Agents via criteria. Trace and journal data contain Management Manual, Version 7.0 for
the P3 MTS access protocol and with additional information about messages upload into the AMC.
the AFTN component via the Message and their processing in the switch.
Transfer and Control Unit (MTCU). The A statistics module provides meaning-
MTA uses a built-in Directory User ful statistical data which can also be
Agent (DUA) to obtain routing infor- exported into CSV files for further anal-
mation and other configuration data ysis with office tools.
from the X.500 directory. Optionally a
Message Store (MS) can be employed The iMCP also includes user permis-
which provides the P7 MS access pro- sions management.
tocol to AMHS User Agents.
The status of hardware components
The MTA communicates via and connections are collected by use
RFC1006/TCP/IP and/or via ATN Inter- of SNMP and displayed graphically.
net Protocol, thus being configurable
as a dual stack AMHS switch.

Basic and Extended ATS Message

Handling Services as specified in ICAO
Doc 9880, Part II are supported.


Together with the AMHS and the

AFTN component and the Monitoring
and Control Position the Message
Transfer and Control Unit (MTCU) pro-
vides the functionality of an AFTN/
AMHS gateway within an integrated
switch. It converts AFTN messages
into AMHS messages and vice-versa,
strictly following the rules specified
in ICAO Doc. 9880 – AN/466, Part II.
It supports the XF and the CAAS ad-
dressing scheme as well as individual
address mapping.
AFTN/AMHS User Agents

Both the AFTN and the AMHS User

Agent are advanced messaging clients
meeting the needs of ATS users.
The applications combine the conveni-
ence of a highly sophisticated ATS
terminal application with the message
handling capabilities of AFTN or AMHS
depending on the customers’ require-

The entry point for all messaging re-

lated data in AviTerm is the Message
Office. It is used to collect all mes-
sages submitted and received by the
messaging AviUnit. Its HMI is split
into three sub windows, a tree view, a
table view and message preview –
similar to the view presented by most
of the popular email clients.

A message can be previewed by se-

lecting it in the table view.

In order to see all details of the

message, it can be opened in the spe-
cialized AviUnit.

If a received message contains infor-

mation elements that require the
immediate attention of the user, an
audible and visible alarm is generated
notifying the user of the relevant event.

A new message can be created using

different methods. The simplest
method is filling in all necessary data
into the input fields of the according
application window. To compile new
messages, the user may also load an
existing message for modification. All
AviUnits implement a common tem-
plate handling mechanism allowing the In order to ease the migration from In addition to the Basic ATS Message
creation, storage and administration AFTN to AMHS, the AMHS frame is Handling Service the AMHS User
of message templates. In centralised structured in so that users accus- Agent supports the following Extended
installations, templates may even be tomed to AFTN quickly feel at home. Services:
shared amongst the user community.
The integrated functionality of a Direc-  ATN/AMHS Directory Services
The software comprises comprehen- tory User Agent (DUA) automatically  Support of Unstructured Binary
sive syntactical and, wherever possible handles the conversion of AFTN ad- Data (File Transfer Body Part)
semantic checks of the data entered dresses into AMHS addresses and vice  Use of IPM Heading Extensions
by the user. This ensures a high quality versa. This ensures that addresses  Security Services
of all messages submitted. are always consistent and reduces the
risk of delivery failure due to mistyped
A specialized frame for AFTN mes- AMHS addresses.
sages supports all necessary AFTN
specific features according to ICAO The AMHS User Agent can be connect-
Annex 10, Vol. II. ed to an ATS Message Server either
by means of the MTS Access Protocol
P3 or the MS Access Protocol P7.
Experience, Technology Leader-
Options ship, References

Avitech also furnishes AFTN and/or Avitech’s experience in aeronautical

AMHS P3 or P7 protocol interfaces data and message switching
to legacy systems in order to connect traces back to the 1970’s when the
them to an AFTN or AMHS switch. first Message Handling System went
into operation. Avitech’s technology
An AFTN/IATA-Type B gateway can be leadership was established in 1992
integrated into the AviSuite switch. with the start of operational use of
the world’s first CIDIN link. In 1996
An ATN Router can be provided, if Avitech implemented an integrated
AMHS communication via the ATN AFTN/CIDIN/AMHS system with the
Internet is required. first nationwide AMHS network for
the combined German Armed Forces.
This system comprises 31 MTAs in
Conformance different locations in Germany. After
several upgrades it is fully compliant
AviSuite fully conforms to the recom- to ICAO Doc 9880, Part II. Having
mendations and requirements of successfully passed all conformance,
interoperability and pre-operational
 ICAO Annex 10, Vol. II, tests defined in ICAO EUR Doc 020 –
Amendment 85 EUR AMHS Manual, Appendices D, E,
 ICAO EUR Doc 005 – EUR CIDIN F, the system exchanges operational
Manual, 6th edition AMHS traffic with the German Civil
 ICAO Doc 9880 – AN/466, Part II, COM Centre since February 2011.
First Edition – 2010
 ICAO EUR Doc 020 – EUR AMHS The integrated AviSuite AFTN/AMHS
Manual, Version 6.0 system in Jordan was among the
 ICAO EUR Doc 021 – ATS Messag- first to establish international AMHS
ing Management Manual, links for operational use. Since 2010
Version 7.0 three operational AMHS links between
 EUROCONTROL Specification on Amman and other COM Centres in
the Air Traffic Services Message the MID Region have proven their reli-
Handling System (AMHS), ability and stability.
Edition 2.0
Further AviSuite AFTN/AMHS switch-
AMHS Conformance Tests as speci- es are in operation in South Korea,
fied in Appendix D of the EUR AMHS Tunisia, Turkey, Hungary and Poland.
Manual have been successfully per-
formed with several customer systems Avitech actively participated in the
supplied by Avitech. FIRST (First Multipartite International
Realisation of ICAO SARPs AMHS
Trials) group in which 3 independent
ANSPs and their suppliers defined and
validated interoperability tests
which were later appended to the EUR
AMHS Manual.

Avitech GmbH Avitech s.r.o. Avitech GmbH

Bahnhofplatz 1 Prievozská 4 Strahlenberger Weg 6
88045 Friedrichshafen / Germany 82109 Bratislava / Slovakia 60599 Frankfurt a. M. / Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 7541 282-0 Phone: +421 (2) 5564-2801 Phone: +49 (0) 69 6060-9894
Fax: +49 (0) 7541 282-199 Fax: +421 (2) 5564-2803 Fax: +49 (0) 69 89 99 03 01

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