• 1

pulsar, pulsar consulting

ICARD Route Designators



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)
  • reserve route designators (limited to authorized users)


Main Concepts and Terminology

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.


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

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. 

Regional vs. Non-Regional route designators

  • Regional RDs are international designators used by regions. Regional ATS Routes are those which are part of the basic ATS route network depicted into the Air Navigation Plan.
  • Non-Regional Routes are the domestic (national) routes. Supplementary to the basic ATS route network, they are not subject to the formal amendment procedure of the Air Navigation Plan.


Non-Regional RD currently in the plan.

Basic Route Designator
the basic designator consists of one letter of the alphabet followed by a number from 1 to 999.

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 RD System

The user can search for available Route Designators in the reserve list. By clicking on “Search”, results corresponding to the criteria will be displayed in the result zone.

Colors are used in the result list to distinguish available/released (in green), requested (in orange, only for regional sytem) or allocated (in red) Route Designators.
Clicking on a green RD in the result list displays either the Request for Allocation of an ATS RD or the Reserve Non-Regional RD popup (respectively for regional and non-regional systems).

The data manager can use the “Check Regional RD Requests” screen (see below) to either accept or reject requests for RD allocation.