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pulsar, pulsar consulting




The ICARD application was built using Pulsar's Framework entitled GID/GIDPro. GID chiefly comprises an assembly of several top market open source libraries which combine to form a consistent development and runtime platform.

This framework allows rapid application development (RAD) of Web applications coupled with relational databases within an extendable, modular and reliable architecture. It includes a wizard and a repository for registering easily all page items, actions and navigation links. 

Other types of standard technology used to develop this application are:


  • XML/XLS, HTML, Velocity, CSS and Javascript for writing the HTML pages
  • J2EE, JSP, EJB, Struts and Oracle Business Components (BC4J) for coding the logics
  • Oracle database and Cayenne, Hibernate as ORM layer
  • Eclipse and Oracle JDeveloper as development environments
  • Oracle Designer and Sybase PowerDesigner to design and generate the database
  • PLSQLDevl to manage the Oracle database
  • Tomcat as web application server, Apache as web listener and HTTPS server
  • LDAP as User Authentication Repository
  • SVG rendering

Since October 1995, EUROCONTROL and the ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Office have been working together to develop and maintain a common database of facilities and services required for international air navigation.

In February 1998, the first internet application on the EUROCONTROL website was developed to support the allocation process of

  • five-letter name-codes (5LNC) used for the identification of significant points
  • route designators (RD) used for the identification of flight routes
  • route descriptions

This application was named ICARD.

On 22 August 2010, the ICAO EUR/NAT Regional Database (ICARD) has been transferred to ICAO HQ. This means when accessing ICARD through the EUROCONTROL-website, you will be redirected to a new page explaining how to register on the ICAO portal for authorised access to the new server. No major changes have been implemented to the application itself. 


Project Objectives

The primary objectives in producing a software application to manage Designators and Codes were:

  • reducing the time involved in allocating codes and designators
  • improving the data storage medium
  • increasing people's confidence in the integrity of the data
  • correlating data between appropriate source


Application Scope

The ICARD application is an interactive internet-based system that makes it possible to:

  • query the content of the database maintained by staff from the ICAO EUR/NAT office (open to public users)
  • reserve 5LNC codes (limited to authorized users)


Main Concepts and Terminology

5LNC (5-letter name code)
The 5LNC are drawn from a set of pre-defined five-letter combinations generated by ICAO and the FAA in the 1960's. This list was then divided up and distributed to the various ICAO Regional Offices throughout the world. These reserve lists have since formed the basis for 5LNC allocation by the ICAO Offices objective with a view to establish and allocate a single code world-wide in order to ensure that it is possible to guarantee the unambiguous designation of significant points not linked to the site of a Radio Navigation Aid (Navaid).

RD (Route Designator)
A route designator is a standardized code name allocated to a flight route. The list of Route Designators is governed by the following principles:

  • The number of Route Designators should be kept to a minimum whilst allowing the majority of recurring flight operations to identify specific ATS routes in flight plans.
  • The allocation of these designators should be co-ordinated with the ICAO regional offices.
  • Route Descriptions.






The official list of significant points and routes with their attributes and descriptions, including coordinates (latitude, longitude).

Reserve List
Data available to Route Planners and Data Managers but not yet part of the plan.

Process of modifying data that were already transferred to the plan.

Process of transferring data from the reserve list to the plan.

Division of the airspace.

When a Route Planner wants to add a code or a route to the plan, he must post a request to the Data Manager. The (Available) code becomes Requested. This step is not required for non-regional routes for which the route planner can directly modify the plan.

Any available data not currently used in the plan or requested for the plan. 

Basket (Accepted or Refused)
A list of accepted or refused requests, serving as a starting point to build notification messages.

We can identify 3 different user roles in the application:

  • Browser Profile: defines the rights of people browsing the website without any particular role. Basically, all they can do is consult the information about the Allocated, Reserved, Requested or Available routes and points. This profile cannot carry out any updates to the database, and therefore does not require authentification.
  • Route Planner Profile: is responsible for designing routes. He therefore needs:
    • to manage 5LNC for naming significant points
    • to manage route designators for naming routes
    • to draw routes.

Once authenticated, he can enter a request to amend the plan.

  • Data Manager Profile: mainly maintains the plan for his region. He has the possibility to Allocate, Amend or Delete any point and any route in the plan. He is also responsible for handling requests from route planners. He can either accept or refuse a request. An accepted request for allocation will be automatically transferred to the plan. He is also in charge of maintaining technical parameters.


Business Flow


Main Functionalities for 5LNC System

First of all, the user must search for available 5LNC codes in the reserve list. By clicking on “Search”, the results which correspond to the criteria will be displayed in the results zone. By clicking on an available 5LNC point in the result list, the Code Allocation or Request for Code Allocation popup (for data managers or route planners respectively) will be displayed. There, the user can enter the latitude and longitude of the point that will be designated by the 5LNC code, together with other relevant information.

By clicking on “Map” an SVG map will appear allowing visualizing the neighborhood of the point to be allocated.

The user can search and view information about already-allocated points.

The data manager can use the “Take a Decision” screen to either accept or reject the requests for 5LNC code allocation.

Search criteria help the user to find the various requests and the Baskets show the 5LNC code allocations previously accepted/rejected by the data manager.

After that, the data manager can use the “Handle Notification Messages” screen to warn those concerned about his acceptance/rejection of the posted requests.

The data manager can also directly manage the users and synchronize the database with the LDAP authentication register.