JCAA transitions to digital AIM system

By Balford Henry
Senior staff reporter

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

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THE Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) has taken another step towards modernising the local civil aviation industry, with the transition from paper-based Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) to a modern digital environment, Aeronautical Information Management (AIM).

The transition to AIM is a requirement of the Standards and Recommended Practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO SARPS). It offers a change from traditional paper-based and product-centric AIS to the data-centric and service-oriented information management, which is fully integrated with other information management systems applicable to the civil aviation industry.

AIM implementation is a priority programme for the authority and is being executed in three phases: (1) Consolidation (which is already completed); (2) Going digital; and (3) Information Management (transition ongoing).

JCAA's provision of aeronautical information services (AIS) included: the provision of aeronautical products and services necessary for the safety, security and efficiency of air navigation, such as flight planning and briefing services; the creation and dissemination of Jamaica's Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP), a standard industry guidance document; and notices to airmen (NOTAMs).

AIM, however, is the digital approach to the provision of the aeronautical information that is critical to the various phases of flight. Driven by a central database, the information disseminated by AIM facilitates the achievement of the ICAO SARPS requirements for quality, accuracy, reliability, efficiency, digitisation and real time availability of aeronautical products and services.

Some of the critical information provided by AIM includes: weather conditions reported or forecast at departure, destination and alternate aerodromes; collision hazards to aircraft; status and serviceability of navigation aids; changes in aerodrome conditions or associated facilities; along with any other information likely to affect safety or efficiency.

The work of the JCAA's AIM Department will continue to include the provision of obstacle evaluation and procedures development (OEPD) services. The OEPD section undertakes the safety assessment of buildings and other structures in the vicinity of an airport and flight paths, and the development of flight procedures and aeronautical charts.

Commenting on the development, JCAA Director General Nari Williams-Singh noted that the transition to AIM is a part of the JCAA's obligation to continuously modernise Jamaica's civil aviation apparatus.

“We must continue to ensure that our infrastructure, systems, processes and human resource are of the highest calibre, in order to meet our national, regional and global mandates. AIM is a major priority for the JCAA, and we have been working to achieve its timely and successful implementation,” he said.

“AIM implementation has brought improvements in our offerings to air operators and other stakeholders within the civil aviation industry, enhancing our safety initiatives,” he added.

The AIM platform will be fully commissioned in August 2019. Some of its key features include: (1) an AIM Centre designed to transform the provision of AIS from a telex-based service to a digital, satellite driven, data platform; (2) modern database facilities which allow for the capture and access of data and information to support local, regional, and global air transport operations; and (3), electronic notices to airmen (NOTAMs), flight plans and other essential aeronautical information.

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