Toward the future: A-SMGCS and CDM

Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System - A-SMGCS


A-SMGCS (pronunciation: "asmics") stands for ‘Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System'. As is indicated by its name, it is an improved version of SMGCS.

SMGCS consists of all airport components which contribute to the guidance and control of the surface movements, as for example painted lines on the taxiways, display boards with information for pilots, ground radar, etc.

We talk about A-SMGCS when aircraft guidance and control are assisted by advanced automation, among others in the tower.
Obviously there are different types of automation; each airport can choose which one it will implement. Nevertheless ICAO has created a framework to direct and rationalise these developments. ‘A-SMGCS' is the acronym used by ICAO to designate this concept.

A-SMGCS is composed of the following basic functions. An ideal A-SMGCS completely integrates all these functions and makes them coherent.

  • Surveillance: Real time display of surface movements and identification of these movements displayed on a screen by means of radar data.
  • Control: Module intended to automatic alarm systems that warn the air traffic controller of the occurrence of a potentially hazardous situation. Classic examples: runway incursion monitoring, collision avoidance.
  • Guidance: Automated assistance to the pilot. Guidance can be done through a radio data link and a cockpit display. The appropriate switching of the taxiway lighting (follow-the-greens) is an application of this module.
  • Routing: This is the automated support in choosing a taxiway on the ground for each aircraft.

The aim of A-SMGCS is to establish an open and modular framework in which complementary modules from various manufacturers can work together within an integrated and coherent system.

Belgocontrol permanently develops the AMS system, which progressively uses the functions of A-SMGCS. Belgocontrol is the leader in the integration of these concepts. The future air traffic control will be built on this integration. Belgocontrol owes this position to its employees' skills and to the technological investments it has agreed on:

  • development of the Airport Movement System, AMS.
  • four ground radars for Brussels Airport. Moreover, the surveillance is refined by the multilateration system.

Collaborative Decision Making - CDM

Adopted by the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), the concept of ‘Collaborative Decision Making' is elaborated by Eurocontrol.

CDM intends to improve air traffic flows and the management of capacity (ATFCM) at the airports by reducing delays, enhancing the punctuality of the different stakeholders and optimising the use of the available ressources.

CDM enables a stakeholder, through communication, to make the right decisions in collaboration with his partners: airport operators, airlines, handlers, air traffic control, CFMU (Eurocontrol).

Brussels Airport was one of the first airports having taken part in the CDM trials performed in 2001 at the launching of the project by Eurocontrol.

Video: The Control Centre and Towers - Permanent development  
The Control Tower at Brussels Airport - For optimal safety of air navigation   (0.63 Mb)
Annual report 2016   (3.43 Mb)