Approach Path Monitor (APM) warns the controller about increased risk of controlled flight into terrain accidents by generating, in a timely manner, an alert of aircraft proximity to terrain or obstacles during final approach.
Since 1998, EUROCONTROL has produced safety net guidelines to support the implementation of safety nets in the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) area. These specify the minimum requirements and provide guidance for the definition, implementation, optimisation and operation of ground-based safety nets. This article provides references to EUROCONTROL Approach Path Monitor Specification and Guidance Material. Links to the articles about the other safety nets can be found at the bottom of this page.
EUROCONTROL APM Specification and Guidance Material has been developed over the years by the safety nets community based on the accumulated practical experience.
EUROCONTROL APM ‘Level 2’ Specification and Guidance Material
The EUROCONTROL APM Specification describes the minimum requirements for the development, configuration and use of APM in Europe. The Specification exists only as the final draft version while the Guidance Material has a ‘released’ status. Currently, there is no plan to undertake any further development of the Specification.
EUROCONTROL Specification for Approach Path Monitor Released
Comprehensive guidance material to assist in implementing the EUROCONTROL Specification for Approach Path Monitor covers the full APM lifecycle:
- Definition of objectives
- Implementation or change
- Tuning and validation
- Operation and monitoring
The APM Guidance is provide with several appendices to support ANSPs in the implementation of APM.
EUROCONTROL Guidance Material for Approach Path Monitor (Edition 1.0 dated 19 May 2009) Released
Appendix A: Reference APM System: Detailed technical explanation of typical implementation details of APM with emphasis on parameterisation and performance optimisation. Optimisation concepts are also covered in detail.
Appendix B: Safety Assurance: A set of three documents that can be used as starting point for APM safety assurance work in a particular local context.
Appendix C: Cost Framework:
Appendix D-1: A study comparing the performance of the current skyguide MSAW system on the final approach segment with that of a more typical APM system, in order to assess if any advantage would be gained. The study identifies potential alternative solutions for APM for Geneva airport.
EUROCONTROL APM ‘Level 3’ Documentation
The ‘Level 3’ material, published in 2017, is a series of documents specifying the minimum requirements and providing guidance for the definition, implementation, optimisation and operation of safety nets. These guidelines, building on the legacy of the previous two editions, are intended to facilitate the harmonisation of safety nets by providing recommendations and implementation examples.
It is important to note that the ‘Level 3’ documents are guidelines as opposed to the mandatory ‘Level 2’ Specifications they replace. This allows ANSPs to adopt a more flexible approach towards implementing safety nets that meets their needs. The guidelines also complements other recognised documentation such as International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) provisions.
Part I - Concept and Requirements - describes the safety net concept of operations and requirements
Part II - Lifecycle Description - contains overall guidance for the various stages of the safety nets lifecycle
Part III - Implementation and Optimisation Examples - provides a generic implementation example and detailed guidance for optimisation and testing of that safety net.