The AFTN Terminal Application provides a powerful means to create and manage flight plans and associated ICAO and ADEXP ATS messages.

The AFTN Terminal Server can also be provided as an AFTN message router/switch. The routing is achieved by mapping AFTN facility addresses to a TCP/IP port number. As many routing instructions can be added as required; there is no limit implemented in the software, the ultimate limit will be determined by hardware resources.

Users experienced in filing flight plan and other ATS messages will find the application quick and easy to use. The application ensures that only syntactically correct flight plans and ATS messages are filed onto the AFTN, while inexperienced users will benefit from the extensive on-line help to ensure they can create valid flight plans with little or no training.

A message template function is provided for frequently created messages. The template function supports all message titles currently defined in the ICAO DOC 4444. ‘Reply to’ functionality is provided in order to create a ‘response’ for a received flight plan with an ATS update message (e.g. DEP, ARR, CNL, DLA, CHG, etc.).

The ‘reply to’ uses data from a received message to initialise as many fields as it can, this ensures a user only has to change the data necessary for a given message title. For example, if a ‘reply to’ is initiated from a received FPL for a DEP the DEP has all fields initialised from the FPL apart from the ATD. The addressees and originator are switched so the message is ready to send ‘back’ to the address from which the FPL was received.

The application has been written in Java which makes it possible to run the application on any hardware that has a JRE 1.6 or later. The application has been tested and demonstrated to work on Linux (CentOS and Ubuntu), Apple MAC Unix (Darwin), Windows XP and HP Unix.

The application is provided with easy to use configuration options with which the location and size of windows, network connections etc. can be configured.

The application can also be installed on a web server and accessed from connected clients using Java Webstart technology. This enables remote sites to be equipped with an AFTN terminal without having to install any specialised software; all that is needed is a web browser.

Screen shots of the application can be found [here…].

Application Uses

The AFTN Terminal Application has been designed for the following operational uses:

  • AFTN Terminal Application for towers
  • AFTN Terminal Application in AIS offices


  • Facilitates flight plan input by AIS officers
  • Ensures flight plans comply syntactically and semantically with ICAO 4444 standards
  • Reports syntax and semantic errors in real time to the user
  • Supports legal obligations for storing filed flight plans by recording all filed plans to a database
  • Provides powerful search facilities to retrieve flight plans from the flight plan database


  • ‘Look and Feel’ similar to a typical email application
  • Supports ATS message creation in both ICAO and ADEXP formats
  • Supports ATS message reception in both ICAO and ADEXP formats
  • Text and structured Form editors to create and/or correct messages
  • Syntax and Semantic checking of received and created messages
  • Messages can be ‘replied’ to, whereupon an initialised form editor is displayed requiring only a small number of fields to be entered to complete a message
  • Complex searches possible that support searching on any logical combination of ATS message fields
  • History function that retrieves all messages with the same callsign
  • Written in Java hence it is hardware platform neutral

For more information on the AFTN Terminal Application refer to the following documents: