On July 25th 2013 the Com Centres of Austro Control (Vienna) and LPS (Bratislava) started the operational use of an AMHS connection via Pan-European Network Services (PENS).
This is the first time that PENS is used for international communication of flight plan data between ANSPs using the ATS Message Handling System (AMHS). The use of PENS as underlying Network is a major improvement for spreading AMHS in Europe. A common IP Infrastructure is essential in the process of harmonisation in the course of implementing Single European Sky (SES). This achievement demonstrates that PENS is ready to be used operationally for AMHS.
For the Austro Control Com Centre this is a further step on the way to replace the Common ICAO Data Interchange Network (CIDIN), which runs on out-dated technology, with AMHS. This is also a significant step for Austro Control to establish compliance with the European ATM Master Plan: ESSIP Objectives COM10 (Migrate from Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Networks to AMHS) and COM09 (Migrate ground international or regional X.25 data networks or services to the Internet Protocol).
As a change from a CIDIN to an AMHS connection directly affects more than just the two COM Centres involved, it was necessary to coordinate such a transition of service with the Eurocontrol ATS Messaging Management Centre (AMC). Austro Control now operates two international AMHS connections. The PENS link to Slovakia and an IP connection to Sarajevo, which was established in November 2011.
As an important contribution to the on-going SES implementation process it is planned to continue establishing new AMHS/PENS connectivities to other ANSPs such as Skyguide or NATS and to replace the CIDIN Link to Frankfurt with AMHS.