ICARO System 

Distribution of aeronautical information through communication networks.


Description of the ICARO system

Technological development and automation of the Air Navigation system has given rise to the creation of various excellent systems for Air Traffic Management; one of these is the ICARO system (Integrated COM/AIS/AIP & Reporting Office Automated System), which automates the tasks and procedures for management of air traffic information - NOTAM (Notice for Airmen), which are undertaken at the Spanish NOF office and the airport NOTAM projects - together with the initial procedures for flight plan information and subsequent monitoring in the airport ARO offices.

This system provides meteorological information and flight plan messages in PIB format (Pre-flight Information Bulletin) to NOTAM aeronautical information customers, enabling access through positions installed in the airport offices and through the Aena public website. In turn, the system provides air traffic and meteorological information to the automated air traffic control system, SACTA.

Air Navigation has maintained the system in continuous development since 1990, initiating its installation for service in 1994 through a distributed system, ICARO 2000, which was rolled throughout the whole Aena network. Currently, progress in communications and web technologies has enabled the development of an integrated system, ICARO XXI, responding to the demands of Spanish air space users.

The ICARO system integrates in a single medium the operational information necessary for aeronautical users about to start a flight. The single tool provides the information to plan the flight and officially submit the flight plan, and the air traffic and meteorological information affected by supplying the Pre-flight Information Bulletins (PIB).

The ICARO XXI system provides the following services:

  • Air traffic information. The purpose of this service is to ensure the distribution of the information necessary for safety, legal compliance and efficiency of international operational air navigation. The international NOTAM office (NOF) is the designated office for international exchange of NOTAM information. Aena, through ICARO, automates the functions of the NOF office, providing a medium that ensures that the information managed is adequate, of high quality, and is processed at the appropriate time.
  • Pre-flight Information Bulletins. Through ICARO, Aena complies with current regulations by which air traffic information must be made available to users. ICARO  is a user friendly tool through which air traffic information - NOTAM in the form of Pre-flight Information Bulletins (PIB) - is provided, both from terminals installed in public desks at the airports and through the web site of the Air Navigation Aeronautical Information Service (AIS).
  • Meteorological Information. Meteorological information prepared by AEMET is incorporated into the ICARO system so that it can be accessed by the users, both from terminals installed on public desks at the airports and through the website of the Air Navigation Aeronautical Information Service (AIS).
  • Flight Plan. Through ICARO, Aena provides a medium for the initial processing of flight plan messages, providing user terminals from which these can be presented. The offices, with the facilities provided by the system, are responsible for the management and monitoring of the flight plans.
  • Interface with SACTA. ICARO supplies air traffic information, especially information of activation-deactivation of special zones of meteorological information to SACTA, responding to requests and maintaining it up to date.

Offices automated by the system

ICARO system's functional components enable the following offices to be automated:

  1. Spanish NOF.Associated office for Aena central services in Madrid, which has the following missions:
    • Processing and distributing Spanish NOTAMs.
    • Management of special zones.
    • Processing and distribution of meteorological information.
    • Control of the permanent flight database.
    • Pre-flight bulletin production.
  2. MilNOF Office.Military Office that produces NOTAM projects published for civil use, which has the following missions:
    • NOTAM project production and queries.
    • Pre-flight bulletin production.
  3. COM/AIS/ARO Offices.Spanish airports offices with the following missions:
    • Processing of FPLs and their associated messages at airport level.
    • Response messages from the ATFM and the IFPS.
    • NOTAM project production and queries.
    • Pre-flight bulletin production.
  4. Flight Preparation Offices.Flight plan preparation offices for air bases with the following missions:
    • Processing of FPLs and their associated messages.
    • Response messages from the ATFM and the IFPS.
    • NOTAM queries.
    • Pre-flight bulletin production.

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