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pulsar, pulsar consulting

ICARD Route Descriptions



The ICARD RD application was built using Pulsar's Framework entitled GID/GIDPro with:

  • 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.


Project Objectives

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

  • providing support fot route planning process for ICAO national and international route planning staff
  • improving the data storage medium
  • increasing people’s confidence in the integrity of the data
  • correlating data between appropriate sources
  • maintaining the security of the data


Application Scope

The ICARD RD 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)
  • describe flight routes, helping the user to plot them along significant points (reserved to route planners)


Main Concepts and Terminology

Route Description
Ordered list of Significant Points which help to plot a flight route, and related information.

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 the transferring data from the reserve list to the plan

Division of the airspace

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

Designated Point vs. Significant Point

A Significant Point is a point in a route; a Designated Point is a specific Significant Point designated by a 5LNC. Significant Points can be either a Designated Point or a Navaid Point or a Temporary Point. 

User Roles

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 route designators for naming 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.


Main Functionalities for the Route Descriptions System

The screen “Find Routes” shows the routes currently in the plan with both a Route Designator and a Route Description. So it will only display routes which match the red color code.

  • The search criteria are:
    • the full Route Designator (e.g. “A27”)
    • the Region where at least one significant point of the route is located
    • a list of significant points used to describe the route
    • a list of countries where at least one significant point of the route is located

  • Name of the proposalThe screen “Find ATS Route Proposals” allows the user to manage the proposals for route descriptions. It uses similar criteria as the previous screen plus some others:
    • steward of the proposal
    • type: new route description (NEW), amendment of a route description already in the plan (AME), or any
    • status: draft, proposed, accepted, released or withdrawn
    • the associated full route designator
    • a list of significant points which appear in the description (the search will consider that all given points should appear in the description)
    • countries where at least one significant point of the description is located (multiple selection helps the user to find all route descriptions crossing the same set of countries) region where at least one significant point of the description is located

The following action items are available:
A = allows a data manager to accept and transfer a route description to the plan. D = makes it possible to delete a route description (i.e. mark it as released). RD = makes it possible to effect a raw deletion. C = copies the data and the points of the selected route description into a new one, prefixing its name with the string “copy of” and leads to the Create ATS Route Proposal popup initialized with these new data

By clicking on a name in the result list, a selection is made and the user is guided to the main popup: ‘Modify ATS Route Proposal’. Clicking on "Show Map" opens a popup with a map illustrating the route.

The Data Manager and Steward can work on route descriptions at any time.
Only a data manager or the route steward can modify it. However, it is possible to give the route to another steward.

Concerning the field “RD in Plan or in Request”, the two cases must be treated differently:

1.  If trying to associate a new description with a new RD, the user simply gives the route designator.

  • The system checks that there is only one such RD in the plan or in pending requests which do not have yet a description.
  • Otherwise an error message will be displayed, asking the user to contact the administrator.

2.  When coming from a route in the plan, the RD will be set already and it cannot be edited.

  • The system checks whether the associated route ever had a description in the plan.
  • If not, then we are back to case 1.

The buttons at the bottom of the page will allow:

  • changes to be submitted
  • the popup to be closed
  • the plan to be updated to include the route description

Clicking on a segment activates the “Modify Route Segment” popup. There, you can alter the segment type and the note selection, but also the flight level (min and max), the direction (forward, backward or both) and the airspace level (upper, lower, both).

Clicking on a Point Box activates the Detail of Route Point popup.

Deleting a Point creates a direct segment between the surrounding points. The newly created segment will take all the notes of the replaced segments.

The point type specifies whether the point is:

  • an allocated designated point
  • a requested 5LNC in request
  • a navaid
  • or a temporary point

When inserting a Point, two segments will be created from one. The existing notes, should any exist , will be added to both segments. The segments will be considered as continuous by default.

When adding or replacing a point, the Choose Point popup replaces the Detail of Route Point popup. The list of available significant points will be restricted to 5LNC or navaids with coordinates. Then, the user can either select an existing point or create a new one.

To create a temporary point, a new code must be specified together with a country, latitude and longitude. Following submission of this information, the point is saved and inserted into the route description.

All temporary points must be replaced either by a 5LNC or by a navaid before the route description can be transferred to the plan. 


Main functionalities of the Navaid System

Data Managers and route planners can manage the list of Navaids and Location Names. However, route planners can only manage navaids from their own country.