The Piarco International Aeronautical Information Service (A.I.S.)
The objective of the A.I.S.is to ensure the flow of information necessary for the safety, regularity and efficiency of international air navigation
. The responsibility of the AIS to ensure quality data/information, since corrupt or erroneous aeronautical information/data can potentially affect the safety of air navigation. States must ensure that users receive timely and quality aeronautical information/data for the period of its intended use. In this light, each state shall introduce a properly organized Quality System, containing procedures and processes of the AIS with necessary resources to implement quality management at each function.
The AIS is an organization designated to: receive and/or originate, collate/assemble, edit, format, publish/store, distribute,all aeronautical data concerning the entire territory of the state as well as areas in which the state is responsible for air traffic services outside its territory.
Customers of the AIS: Other States – regional and international, ATC and other units of the CAA, pilots, Aircraft Operating agencies, other (mapping agencies, general public).
Services Provided by AIS: pilot briefing, fight planning, repetitive flight planning and other Air Traffic Services message transmission, NOTAM promulgation and dissemination, AFTN message transmission, ATIS broadcasting, production of AIP and related documents.
Officers provide information to pilots on : latest route charts, approach plates, latest NOTAM, AIC and AIP info for Piarco and other states, Pre-flight Information Bulletin (PIB) which contains printed NOTAM and weather information relevant to flight, assistance in completing Flight Plans for pilots ,assist in acquiring meteorological information for arrival aerodrome and other required aerodromes.
Flight Plan (FPL)
The standard ICAO FPL form contains information such as: aircraft identification, type, wake turbulence category, cruising speed and level, route to destination etc. AIS, upon receipt of a completed FPL form is responsible for the dissemination of information to all relevant aerodromes and FIRs. This is facilitated by the Flight Plan Processing System (FPPS) in the Piarco AIS.
Repetitive Flight Plan
RPLs are flight plans for same flights that operate a number of days per week with similar daily departure times. Operators are required to fill out the FPL as well as a special RPL listing form to indicate period of validity, days and time of operation of flight. This is also facilitated by means of the Flight Plan Processing System (FPPS) in the Piarco AIS.
The Flight Plan Processing System (FPPS) is one of two (2) means of disseminating FPLs, RPLs and ATS messages – the other means is the AFTN. The main function of the FPPS is to automate the printing of flight progress strips which benefits the ATC. However, AIS also benefits with respect to transmitting of error free FPLs and automatic timed transmission of RPLs.
NOTAM -Notices to Airmen
A NOTAM shall be originated and issued promptly whenever the information to be distributed is of: a temporary nature and of short duration and/or when operationally significant, permanent changes or temporary changes of long duration are made at short notice except for extensive text and/or graphics.
(In the case of graphics or extensive text, an AIP Supplement may be used.)
Piarco International NOTAM Office (Piarco NOF) – Piarco’s NOF is responsible for dissemination of NOTAM internationally for stations in the Eastern Caribbean.
AFTN – AERONAUTICAL FIXED TELECOMMUNICATION NETWORK
A world wide system of aeronautical fixed circuits provided as part of the Aeronautical Fixed Service, for the exchange of messages and/or digital data between aeronautical fixed stations having the same or compatible communication characteristics.
AERONAUTICAL FIXED SERVICE
A telecommunication service between specified fixed points provided for the safety of air navigation and for regular, efficient and economical operation of air services. In the case of Piarco, this exist between Piarco and all the Eastern Caribbean states (regionally) and also with Atlanta (North American regions) and Venezuela (South American regions).
Piarco AFTN Switching Centre
Piarco AIS manages the AFTN switch. And is responsible for monitoring the status of the circuits for the Eastern Caribbean States and Piarco, Atlanta and Piarco, and, Maiqueitia and Piarco.Having a link established with Maiquetia serves to create a route to receive/transmit messages from the South American regions and also to provide an alternate route for message switching when there is an AFTN failure between Atlanta and Piarco.
ATIS – Automatic Terminal Information Service.
Automatic Terminal Information Service , or ATIS, is the automatic provision of current routine information to arriving and departing aircraft by means of continuous and repetitive voice broadcasts on an hourly basis throughout 24hrs. ATIS broadcasts contain essential information, such as current weather, landing and departing runway, runway and taxiway conditions, communication frequencies and altimeter settings to arriving and departing aircraft. ATIS broadcasts are updated as weather and runway conditions change. Each broadcast is identified by a sequential letter of the phonetic alphabet pronunciation e.g. bravo. The frequency assigned to the Piarco ATIS is 127.6MHz.
It is the responsibility of the AIS Publication unit to produce the Integrated Aeronautical Information Package (IAIP) which consists of: AIP, AIP Amendments, AIP Supplements, AIC, NOTAM, Checklists and Summaries.
AIP – Aeronautical Information Publication is a publication issued by or with the authority of a state and contains information of a lasting character essential to air navigation. It is compiled in accordance with ICAO Standards and Practices SARPs and is divided into three parts:- General (GEN), Enroute (ENR) and Aerodrome (AD).
Part 1 General GEN contains information of an administrative and explanatory nature which is not of immediate operational significance/importance.
Part 2 Enroute ENR contains information concerning airspace and its use.
Part 3 Aerodrome AD contains information concerning aerodromes/heliport and their use.
Piarco AIS is responsible for production of the Eastern Caribbean AIP which includes information for the following States: Anguilla, Nevis, St. Kitts, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada
AIP AMENDMENT – There are two types of AIP amendment:- Ordinary AIP amendment and AIRAC amendment. OrdinaryAIP Amendments are issued whenever new information necessitates a permanent change or addition to the information already contained in the AIP.AIRAC amendments are issued in accordance with the AIRAC (Aeronautical Information Regulation and Control) System. This is a system aimed at advanced notification of circumstances that necessitates significant changes in operating practices. To facilitate proper use of this system, AIS/MAP unit should receive information at least 56 days before effective date. Distribution should take place at least 42 days before effective date by most expeditious means available. Information should reach users at least 28 days before effective date.
A list of AIRAC effective dates are available until year 2012.
AIP SUPPLEMENTS – Temporary changes of long duration (more than three months) or changes requiring issuance of extensive text and/or graphics which affect the contents of the AIP are published and distributed as AIP Supplements.
AIC (Aeronautical Information Circular) – Contains matters of long term advance notification of major changes in procedure or facilities, information of an explanatory or advisory nature, or information concerning administrative matters.
CHECKLISTS, NOTAM SUMMARY.
Checklists of valid AIS information and NOTAM Summary are compiled and distributed monthly.
The AIP is now available in electronic form, (CD ROM). It is our goal in the future to make our Eastern Caribbean AIP available online.