Aviation DWG


Lepori, Hubert (European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL)) - Co-Chair,
Sullivan, Don (US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)) - Co-Chair

Group Description:


The purpose of the OGC Aviation DWG is to provide an open forum for work on aviation-related data interoperability and access, and a route to publication through OGC's standards ladder (Discussion paper / Best Practice / Standard, and, if appropriate, to ISO status). The open forum will encourage collaborative development among disparate participants in a rapidly evolving technological milieu, and will ensure appropriate liaisons to other working groups (inside and outside OGC).

For further information and overview of OGC's work in the Aviation Community please click on this link - Aviation Domain

Problem Statement

Many OGC (and ISO) standards are used in the Aviation world. Those include 

  • GML - encoding standards for geospatial and technical data
  • WFS - interface for hosting and accessing feature data
  • WCS - interface for hosting and accessing gridded data (could include time-series)
  • ISO 19115 - geospatial information - metadata (for datasets)
  • ISO 19119 - geospatial information - metadata (for web services)
  • Observations and Measurements (O&M)
  • Binary-XML Encoding Specification

The Aviation community is quickly moving forward on the adoption of these standards. For example, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), EUROCONTROL and other organizations have jointly developed AIXM, which is based on GML 3.2, as a proposed standard for the representation and exchange of aeronautical information. Similarly, WXXM has been developed as a proposed standard for the exchange of aeronautical weather information in the context of a net-centric and global interoperable Air Transport System (ATS).

The core standards listed above move at different paces within OGC and are not necessarily always aligned with the requirements and priorities of the Aviation domain. Hence the Aviation community needs a single body within OGC that can focus on the coordination, alignment and profiling of these standards as well as the development of new ones (such as the Event Service) from the perspective of Aviation data producers, users and managers.

The Aviation perspective is unique because it involves

  • Interconnected systems with many sources of information (aeronautical information publications, weather, NOTAMs, etc) and many users,
  • Need for real-time information used for safety-critical purposes (e.g. flight planning, navigation, rerouting, etc),
  • Right information at the right time at the right place to the right user (via a variety of Aviation clients ranging from avionic systems to Electronic Flight Bags (EFB)),
  • End-to-end management of information
  • Extreme variations in policy for the adoption and use of standards: civil, military, national and other organizational decision boundaries.

Aviation information is not only inherently spatial and complex, but is also constantly changing (AIXM for instance incorporates a temporality feature that allows for time-dependent changes affecting aeronautical features). Access, filtering and update of such temporally-oriented information can be challenging and poses new risks and requirements from the security, data integrity and reliability perspectives amongst others in a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) approach.

A number of security issues are also important to consider in the context of aviation data management and applications:

  • Integrity, Confidentiality and Authenticity aspects for AIXM/WXXM documents to ensure their protection in trusted and untrusted domains;
  • Communication security to ensure protection of information (e.g. AIXM/WXXM) information;
  • Authentication and Access Control to ensure that only authorized people can access the information;
  • Audit and Alarms to ensure that the security functions of the system work "properly".

The Aviation DWG within OGC provides a venue to discuss all the above issues under a single umbrella in order to support (1) the representation and secure exchange of digital, consolidated, globally-interoperable aeronautical information and (2) the secure delivery of high-quality, real-time information needed to react efficiently in a dynamic airspace environment. As relationships between the various aviation service providers and policy makers becomes more dynamic with global implications, aviation domain experts must work in concert to maintain an up-to-date understanding of technology milestones, and their impact on the implementation of standards.


The WG formally meets at quarterly OGC Technical Committee meetings and holds regular teleconferences. An email Listserv is used by WG members for communications as well as a robust collaboration space in the web-based OGC Portal.


Working Group Co-chairs: Hubert Lepori (Eurocontrol) and Deborah Cowell (FAA)

Please direct inquiries for further information and opportunities for collaboration here: aviation-info [at] opengeospatial.org