ATM Modernization

Eurocontrol Aims to Help Single European Sky Focus on Operator Needs

By S.L. Fuller | March 27, 2017

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Focusing on the needs of the aircraft operator, rather than the needs of an air navigation service provider, is how Eurocontrol anticipates being able to meet goals for Single European Sky. The organization says in order to accomplish this “radical cultural and technical change,” it is leading the SESAR (SES Air Traffic Management Research) 2020 PJ07 (Optimized Airspace Users Operations) project. PJ07 is further defined by Solution One (Airspace User Processes for Trajectory Definition), Solution Two (Airspace User Fleet Prioritization and Preferences) and Solution Three (Mission Trajectory).

“If the future ATM system is going to be able to cope with the dynamic demands of increasing numbers of civil and military aircraft, it will need to be reconfigured with new tools and processes,” Eurocontrol says. “Eurocontrol has been working with civil and military aircraft operators for many years to integrate flight plans within a single platform, but with the advent of new, more precise and automated flight planning tools, more precise trajectory information can be accessed and shared among all relevant network stakeholders.”

Because of this, new collaborative decision-making processes would have to accommodate for operator flexibility when optimizing flight plans or reprioritizing flights. Eurocontrol says PJ07 would go beyond that refinement and bring together three strands of research, which was started in SESAR 1 (2008-2016): the user-driven prioritization process, trajectory management with more accurate and integrated flight planning tools within civil airline operations centers, and military wing operations centers flight planning facilities. In 2017, Eurocontrol says it plans to deploy enhanced slot swapping, which was a success from SESAR 1. It should save several hundred million euros over the next two decades.

The organization outlines two waves of SESAR 2020. Wave One covers 2016-2019, and Wave Two covers 2019-2023. Eurocontrol aims to have the UDPP solution ready to deploy in Wave Two. The PJ07 project is to fully integrate aircraft operator business needs within the ATM network. It will be coordinated by PJ04 (total airport management), PJ09 (advanced demand and capacity balancing) and PJ18 (4D trajectory management) in SESAR 2020.

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