Eurocontrol has launched its pioneering online European Aeronaut-ical Information Services Database (EAD), making available on a single site for the first time all the worldwide static and NOTAM (notices to airmen) data that is normally distributed by individual states.

EAD programme manager Sylviane Wybo says connections to meteorological and other services will almost certainly develop in due course.

Eurocontrol describes EAD as "an aviation information services [AIS] database that provides quality-assured aeronautical information to all who may need it wherever they may be". Member states - at first the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) nations - will gradually be organised to log on direct to EAD and enter their updates online, dispensing with the need to run their own separate data distribution networks.

This ECAC "migration", says Eurocontrol director George Paulson, will be complete by the end of 2006, but for the time being AIS providers all over the world will send their updates to EAD in the traditional way. Slovenia is the first state to have migrated to direct EAD entry, and by mid-2004 Portugal and Norway will have done so.

Eurocontrol has been working on EAD since 1998, and now the pilot version is up and running. The day-to-day management of the system has been contracted out to Group EAD, which has two bases - Frankfurt and Madrid.

Source: Flight International