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Short Term Conflict Alert (STCA)

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Category: Safety Nets Safety Nets
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Short Term Conflict Alert (STCA)


STCA is a ground-based safety net intended to assist the controller in preventing collision between aircraft by generating, in a timely manner, an alert of a potential or actual infringement of separation minima.


A Short Term Conflict Alert (STCA) is a system to warn the ATCO of any situation where the minimum separation distances between any pair of radar tracks is, or is predicted to be within a short look ahead time (usually 2 minutes), violated. This is achieved via a visual alert on the radar display, though some systems also provide an audible alert. STCA is a concept rather than a specific system; there are therefore a number of differing implementations used by ATC providers across the world.

EUROCONTROL recommends that the following principles be placed at the centre of policy making for use of STCA:

  • STCA is a safety net; its sole purpose is to enhance safety and its presence is ignored when calculating sector capacity.
  • STCA is designed, configured and used to make a significant positive contribution to the effectiveness of separation provision and collision avoidance.

Specific training should be provided to ATC staff for the correct use of STCA.

Related Articles

HindSight 6

  • Hindsight 6: Published in January 2008, this edition of the EUROCONTROL Safety Magazine focused on Collision Avoidance.

Further Reading


Safety Nets Newsletters

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  • NetAlert Newsletter: NetAlert is a four-monthly news update for people working in airlines, air traffic control centres and in the organisations that support them. Written by EUROCONTROL's Safety Nets team, NetAlert aims to increase awareness of how safety nets work, how they interact, and what is being done to help with implementing and enhancing them. Of psarticular relevance is NetAlert Newsletter No. 12 which focuses on STCA within the TMA

For latest information refer to the EUROCONTROL Safety Nets website