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AFTERM – AFTN Message Format Terminal


AFTERM is a PC-based AFTN terminal for use in control towers, flight briefing units or wherever there is a requirement for receiving, transmitting and storing AFTN messages. In line with international requirements, up to 30 days of traffic can be stored on the hard drive ready for immediate retrieval. The terminal is the economic entry point to the range of Copperchase message processing systems developed for the ATC and the aviation industry. It can be easily upgraded to a Copperchase AFGATE (AFTN Message Distributor) when required.

At the same time you can prevent these peripherals from receiving unnecessary flight plan information. Use of AFGATE can also provide cost-saving benefits. It acts as a collection point for all messages, thus reducing leased line connections to a single location, without compromise to service.

Modern Technology

AFTERM consists of Copperchase proprietary software running on a standard PC. The Copperchase hardware and software platforms are well proven through extensive use within the AFTN network. An ongoing development programme ensures that the software keeps pace with technological advances.


AFTERM allows for both ITA2 (Baudot) and ITA5 (ASCII) character formats to be used. It can also be provided in a variety of configurations to suit individual usage, such as integration to other systems and networks. Line speeds ranging from 50 to 9,600 bits per second (bps) are defined in configuration tables during installation. AFTERM can equally be supplied configured to allow interconnection to a dedicated Telex line. AFTERM can be supplied either as a complete, fully configured terminal or as software only, for installation on the customer’s existing/preferred hardware. The Man–Machine Interface (MMI) for AFTERM is driven by user-friendly menu systems based on Microsoft Windows™ it will be reassuringly familiar to the majority of users and intuitively simple to learn for those new to computers.

AFTERM software includes an AFTN Message Editor consisting of intelligent form-fills. These forms are based on standard flight plans (FPLs) and other message formats as defined in ICAO Doc. 4444 (customised forms can also be developed on request). Operators accustomed to completing FPLs will find the forms easily recognisable.

The Message Editor provides basic word-processing facilities together with an understanding of different AFTN message formats. Message format is restricted to lines of 69 characters with automatic word wrap.

The Message Editor software automatically generates generic information, including message header, originator code, date/time line and EOM for each message. Automatic addressing can be inserted using the extensive macro facility.

The Message Editor automatically verifies each piece of information during input checking for consistency with AFTN message format. This covers AFTN address format verification, including IFPS, and the required fields and permissible entry ranges.

Telecoms Interfaces

Direct/Leased Line, Dial-up PSTN, Telegraph, Fax, Telex, X25/X400, TCP/IP (Internet)

Standard Features

Message preparation, edit and print
Message archive and retrieval
AFTN message format verification
Automatic inclusion of generic data
Automatic journaling
Message search/recall using reference or text string

Auto-print or auto-queue pending operator action