NAVBLUE launches Electronic Terrain and Obstacles Database (eTOD) to enhance safety and increase flight efficiency


Combining years of experience manipulating Digital Elevation Models (DEM) and collecting obstacle data for its flight procedure design activities, NAVBLUE leverages Airbus Defence & Space assets to deliver electronic Terrain & Obstacle Data: eTOD.

NAVBLUE’s eTOD helps Airports and Air Navigation Service Providers to deliver high quality information to operators and other stakeholders in order to enhance safety and increase efficiency of flights.

As per International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) guidance, eTOD shall be provided by State Aeronautical Information Services (AIS). eTOD supports a wide range of aviation applications, such as:

  1. Determination of contingency procedures for use in the event of an emergency during a missed approach or take-off
  2. Aircraft operating limitations analysis
  3. Instrument flight procedure design
  4. Determination of en-route “drift down” procedures and en-route emergency landing location
  5. Transition from AIS to AIM (Aeronautical chart production and on-board databases)
  6. Determination of contingency procedures for use in the event of an emergency during a missed approach or take-off
  7. Unmanned Aerodromes Synthetic Vision
  8. Aerodrome / Heliport Obstacle restriction and removal

NAVBLUE uses state of the art data capture and production capability to deliver eTOD for Areas 1 to 4, meeting the ICAO Annex 15 definition describing the areas and requirements for accuracy and resolution.

Area 1 is the entire country, Area 2abcd is the vicinity around the airport, Area 3 is the area around the runways and taxiways and Area 4 the small area at the end of the runway when using ILS CAT II or III W.

NAVBLUE will benefit from in-house access to Pléiades high-resolution optical Earth observation satellite and other optical or radar satellite sensors operated by Airbus Defence & Space. Airbus new Pléiades Neo constellation of four optical satellites, two of which are already operational and two to be launched mid-2022, provide high-quality images at 30cm resolution and will improve
obstacle detection.

With Airbus Defence & Space, our expert photogrammetrists use proprietary tools to extract eTOD data from the stereo satellite imagery, complemented by on-site data survey and drone capture when necessary, to achieve the completeness, accuracy and resolution required for each of the Areas.

The typical eTOD deliverable for Obstacles is a database in Aeronautical Information Exchange Model (AIXM) or .shp format, or similar; and Terrain in Elevation Grid format. This can then be made available to the aviation community through the State Aeronautical Information Publications (AIPs).

NAVBLUE have already been using eTOD for several projects for airports such as Tivat Airport, Montenegro (IATA: TIV, ICAO: LYTV) and major Terminal Manoeuvring Area (TMA) redesigns in Latin America. NAVBLUE can also meet additional customer needs such as eTOD monitoring, Obstacle Limitation Surface (OLS), orthoimagery and Airport Mapping database (AMDB).