Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking recently completed an exploratory research project on ATM operational concept and system architecture between now and 2020, SESAR said. Called FLITE (Future Long-term ATM concept, Infrastructure, Technologies and operational Environment), it was carried out jointly by Imperial College London and ISA Software.
FLITE identified three key operational challenges areas: gate-to-gate, passenger handling and airport access. Associated technological challenges were also identified, including overcoming airport capacity constraints, integrating a diverse fleet of air vehicles, including passenger processes and defining a total transport system architecture
“Over the next four decades, more complex air travel scenarios are expected to emerge in Europe. The future vision of air travel in Europe expressed in Flightpath 2050 is to provide door-to-door transport within Europe capped at 4 hours (90%) and to execute all flights with delays not exceeding 1 minute under all weather conditions,” SESAR said. “The vision further includes dynamic network reconfiguration, 24 hour efficient airport operations and coherent ground infrastructures, including vertiports and heliports. The achievement of this vision will require fundamental changes in the air transport system.”
Integrating aircraft with varying levels of performance and automation into the same airspace would also increase traffic density. FLITE evaluated how the target SESAR operational concept and technologies will need to evovlve in order to achieve what Flightpath 2050 outlined.