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EUROCONTROL STCA Specification and Guidance Material
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STCA (Short Term Conflict Alert) assists the controller in preventing collision between aircraft by generating, in a timely manner, an alert of a potential or actual infringement of Separation Standards (separation minima).
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 STCA Specification and Guidance Material. Links to the articles about the other safety nets can be found at the bottom of this page.
EUROCONTROL STCA Specification and Guidance Material has been developed over the years by the safety nets community based on the accumulated practical experience.
EUROCONTROL STCA ‘Level 2’ Specification
The EUROCONTROL STCA Specification describes the minimum requirements for the development, configuration and use of STCA in Europe. Version 1.0 of the specification (published in 2007) has been approved, version 1.1 published in 2009 remains as a draft version. Currently, there is no plan to undertake any further development of the Specification.
EUROCONTROL Specification for Short Term Conflict Alert (Edition 1.1 dated 19 May 2009) Draft
EUROCONTROL STCA ‘Level 2’ Guidance Material
Comprehensive guidance material to assist in implementing the EUROCONTROL Specification for Short Term Conflict Alert covers the full STCA lifecycle:
- Definition of objectives
- Implementation or change
- Tuning and validation
- Operation and monitoring
The STCA Guidance is provide with several appendices to support ANSPs in the implementation of STCA.
EUROCONTROL Guidance Material for Short Term Conflict Alert: General description of the full STCA lifecycle, aimed at staff with responsibility for overall management of STCA.
Appendix A: Reference STCA System: Detailed technical explanation of typical implementation details of STCA 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 STCA safety assurance work in a particular local context.
- Appendix B-1: Safety Argument for STCA System: This document describes a possible initial Safety Argument.
- Appendix B-2: Generic Safety Plan for STCA Implementation: Describes what safety assurance activities should be considered at each lifecycle phase, who should do them, and what the criteria for success are.
- Appendix B-3: Outline Safety Case for STCA System: Addresses in detail the assurance and evidence from the System Definition stage and outlines the likely assurance and evidence for the later stages.
Appendix C: Cost Framework:
- Appendix C: Cost Framework for the Standardisation of STCA: A set of guidelines for users of the Cost Framework (an Excel model) to assess the economic impact of the standardisation of Short Term Conflict Alert for individual ANSPs.
- Appendix C: Supporting Spreadsheet: Supporting Excel spreadsheet for the Cost Framework model.
Appendix D: Case Study: A set of two documents describing the (partial) application of the optimisation and safety assurance guidance material in a demanding environment.
- Appendix D-1: Optimisation of STCA for ATCC Semmerzake: Identifies potential solutions for handling military formation flights and a large number of primary tracks in STCA whilst keeping the number of nuisance alerts to an effective minimum.
- Appendix D-2: Functional Hazard Assessment of STCA for ATCC Semmerzake: Describes the Functional Hazard Assessment of the identified potential solutions for optimisation of STCA, performed as initial step of safety assurance activities.
EUROCONTROL STCA ‘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.