Airport Movement System - AMS

Developed by Belgocontrol, AMS (Airport Movement System) is the core system of the "tower" air traffic control. AMS is the merger between the air traffic controllers' operational experience and the engineers' technical skills. It stands for the integration in the control tower of the most advanced technologies, which are based on international concepts which are in line with the requirements of the Single European Sky initiative:

  • A-SMGCS: Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System. Developed by ICAO, this concept is the foundation of the further evolutions of the airport traffic control. It includes 4 modules: Surveillance, Control, Guidance and Routing/Planning. The purpose of this concept is to anticipate the expected air traffic growth and to ensure a maximum safety level, also in case of bad weather conditions.
  • CDM: Collaborative Decision Making. Developed by Eurocontrol, CDM aims to maximise the efficiency of information exchange between air traffic controllers, airport operators, handlers and airlines so that each partner can take the right decision at the right time.
  • CPDLC : Controller Pilot Data Link Communication. This concept gradually replaces voice communication between the pilot and the tower air traffic controller by air-ground data link communication, a more reliable means of communication, currently used for the exchange of routine information; upon the SESAR deployment, air-ground data link will become the prime means of communication.

Functionalities and developments of AMS

AMS is based on integrated radar and flight plan data processing. The development teams of Belgocontrol are continuously improving AMS in order to integrate new functionalities. This continuous improvement will allow us to gather and to process even more information from flight plans, ground radars combined with the multilateration system, airport beacons (stop bar and taxiway segment) as well as information from the handlers and airlines. AMS enables to integrate products fabricated by component manufacturers and applications developed by Belgocontrol:


  • Advanced Electronic Flight Strips – Flight Data Display (FDD): AMS updates in realtime all data relating to a flight at each stage of the aircraft movement and sends information to the tower working positions and to the other ATM partners like ACC and APP in the CANAC centre, the Brussels Airport Company authorities, the airline companies and handlers, Eurocontrol etc.
  • Ground & Air Radar Data Displays (RDD): AMS RDD, with integrated A-SMGCS functions, is supplied by several ground and air radars (video and digital information). Since June 2006, information provided by the multilateration system was added, thus enabling the automatic identification of departure flights.
  • Integrated Air & Ground Radar Data: the correlation between ground radar data and flight plan data enables to provide accurate timestamps to the different taxiways elements, to the runway entries and exits.
  • Stopbars & Taxiway Segment Management: the automated control of stopbars, integrated in AMS, helps to prevent runway incursions and to generate alerts in case the aircraft deviates from the planned taxiroute.
  • Follow-the-greens: this functionality is under development. It consists of the automatic command of the airport taxiway lighting segments. It provides guidance to pilots, especially important in case of bad weather conditions.
  • Integrated Air-Ground Data Link: to reduce misunderstandings in radio communication as well as frequency overload, AMS provides Clearance Delivery via Data Link between the tower and the cockpit of the aircraft. Belgocontrol participates in the Eurocontrol D-TAXI project for the feasibility study on the usage of Air Ground Data Link for Push-Back and Taxi Clearances.
  • Situational Awareness & TOBT: integrated tool for Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) that provides information to all the partners at the airport. The TOBT (Target Off-Block Time) communication between air traffic controllers, handlers and airlines contributes to the optimisation of the accuracy of the estimated start-up time.
  • Departure Manager (DMAN): This AMS application calculates the ideal taxiroute and taxitimes and assists the Tower controller in optimizing the sequence of departures by calculating the expected delays at take-off and start-up.
  • FUM/DPI: Belgocontrol participates in the ‘Flight Update Message & Departure Planning Information' (FUM/DPI) project in collaboration with Eurocontrol. This project aims to improve punctuality.

Our expertise at your service

In the domain of tower control, Belgocontrol is today one of the leading ANSPs in Europe and the AMS developments are in line with the technological requirements of the Single European Sky project. Belgocontrol is willing to share its acquired expertise by offering its services to others.

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Video: The Control Centre and Towers - Permanent development  
CANAC 2: performance-oriented air traffic control   (0.84 Mb)
AMS - Airport Movement System   (0.78 Mb)
The Control Tower at Brussels Airport - For optimal safety of air navigation   (0.63 Mb)
Annual report 2017