[Avionics Today 12-01-2014] Last month, partners in the SESAR Research and Innovation Program conducted a 15-day live trial across a large part of Europe’s core airspace to validate the feasibility and benefits offered by a wider and more harmonized application of Short-Term Air Traffic Flow Control Management Measures (STAMs). STAMs offer the Air Traffic Management (ATM) system more flexibility to handle overload, since the measures are applied at a later stage than current management procedures, leading to improved efficiency and effectiveness of the overload resolution.
STAMs can be applied to either selected flights or to full traffic flows. The most frequently used STAM is level capping, which protects a high altitude sector that would otherwise be overloaded by temporarily constraining a flight or group of flights to fly at a lower altitude; this is done by either delaying its climb or advancing its descent. STAMs can also impose ground delay either by issuing a Calculated Take-Off Time (CTOT)-like restriction at short notice on a specific flight, or by requiring minimum departure intervals for an airport at selected time windows. Finally, the STAM toolbox allows the regulation of traffic demand by requiring that a minimum miles-in-trail separation is maintained between a series of successive aircraft on specific routes.
A follow-up trial is planned at the end of 2015, which will focus on integrating the STAM concept with local flow management tools through B2B System Wide Information Management (SWIM) services.