The Network Operations Planning Function ensures the seamless integration of actions to improve the European airspace design and utilisation, and to facilitate the operational integration of Functional Airspace Blocks.
These activities are key to ensuring delivery of the SES II performance targets for ATM capacity and the environment (horizontal flight efficiency), for the first reference period (2012-2014) of the Single European Sky Performance Scheme.
The Operations Planning unit ensures that there is a consolidated, coherent approach to operational planning, that incorporates demand forecasting, the design of the European airspace, enhanced ASM/ATFCM/ATS processes and ATM procedures and enhanced ATFCM planning, using integrated data and sophisticated modelling tools for all planning phases.
Network Operations Planning contains six main elements:
- Local and Network Operational Planning
- Route Network and Airspace Structure Development
- Airspace Management (ASM)
- ATM (ATS/ASM/ATFCM) Procedures
- Airspace Modelling
- Airspace Simulations
Local and Network Operational Planning
The Ops Performance Planning function provides a single focal point of coordination for all capacity-related issues, both within the EUROCONTROL Agency and for external stakeholders. It supports ANSPs in the establishment of realistic and robust operational plans, to meet the agreed target for capacity at European ATM network and local level.
Route Network and Airspace Structure Development
The Airspace Design function supports Air Navigation Service Providers in the development, coordination and implementation of proposals to optimise both enroute and terminal airspace in European airspace and interface areas, to enhance ATM capacity in line with forecast demand, and to meet the agreed SES II performance targets for capacity and environment (horizontal flight efficiency). The aim is for a dynamic airspace, based on multi-option routeings and adaptable ATC sectorisation, within an integrated international airspace structure.
The Airspace Management function facilitates the development of the European airspace into one continuum that is flexible and reactive to short-term changes in airspace user needs. This will be based on a seamless management of airspace configurations, and, supported by continuous sharing of information among all partners, will provide for an optimum use of the network.
ATM (ATS/ASM/ATFCM) Procedures
ATM procedures are fundamental to the management of all functions of air traffic, in that they ensure safety and operational efficiency in the airspace within which they are applied. The ATM Procedures function develops and validates processes and procedures required to improve network operations and to facilitate a performance driven and timely management of airspace and traffic.
The Airspace Modelling function carries out operational analysis of proposed changes to the airspace structure, including route network and sectorisation, in support of all Ops Planning activities. This work includes the analysis of proposals, the validation of airspace concepts and operational plans, and the quantitative assessment of capacity, flight efficiency and environmental benefits. The scope of the modelling ranges from local/sector level to that of the entire European ATM Network.
The Airspace Simulation function carries out fast-time and real-time airspace simulations in support of new airspace design projects and network operational concepts and procedures.