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OGC completes airspace information sharing pilot


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Release Date: 
30 June 2011

30 June 2011 - The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) announced successful completion of the Special Activity Airspace (SAA) Dissemination Pilot. 

Today, the military reserves large sections of airspace for mission purposes. Determining when that airspace is safely available for civilian use can be difficult, but providing such information on demand to those who need to know is necessary to help reduce air traffic congestion. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working with industry stakeholders to leverage international standards and evolving digital communication capabilities to increase awareness and predictability of SAA usage.

Navin Vembar, Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) Acquisition Lead, FAA, reported, "The FAA SAA Dissemination pilot proves that OGC Web Services can be used in concert with domain-specific information exchange standards to satisfy the operational needs of a wide variety of users. The use of the standards means that all of the stakeholders' costs decrease while the benefits of the communication are realized quickly."

"The FAA SAA Dissemination pilot has been a valuable first step toward a standard-based aeronautical data infrastructure," explained Dr. Christian Grothe, Manager Product Development, Lufthansa Systems FlightNav AG. "It has showcased the benefits of integrated aeronautical data services and provided the opportunity to make the required initial investments in re-usable and extensible interfaces that we expect to become more widespread in the aeronautical information domain in the near future. 

In this pilot project, the OGC provided coordination assistance to the FAA in support of their Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) goals, to enable the dissemination of SAA definitions and reservation schedules via OGC Web Services and using the Aeronautical Information Exchange Model AIXM 5.1. SAA dissemination involves the access, filtering and graphical portrayal of airspace information, as well as the ability for subscribed users to receive notifications of SAA updates and reservation schedule changes. OGC Web Service standards specify open and widely used geospatial interfaces that support communication of geospatial information in Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)-based systems.

Videos and presentations from the June 2 SAA Dissemination Pilot demonstrations are available at The demonstrations focused on a realistic operational Commercial Flight scenario covering the flight planning, preparation, conduction and re-planning phases of a commercial flight. The competitively-selected team of participants included Lufthansa Systems, Boeing/Jeppesen, Luciad, Snowflake, Galdos, Envitia and IfGI.

OGC pilots are part of OGC's Interoperability Program, a global, hands-on collaborative prototyping program designed to rapidly develop, test and deliver proven candidate specifications into OGC's Specification Program, where they are formalized for public release. OGC Interoperability Initiatives are designed to encourage rapid development, testing, validation and adoption of OGC standards.  

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 415 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC Standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at