Paving the way for SESAR deployment and a more performance-driven ATM environment in Europe

21 December 2016

SESAR 2020 PJ24 Network Collaborative Management (NCM), which kicked off on 17 and 18 November in Brussels at EUROCONTROL Headquarters, is one of eight SESAR 2020 projects led by EUROCONTROL. Among these, it is unique in being a Very Large Scale Demonstration (VLD) project, whereas the other seven projects led by EUROCONTROL are either Industrial Research (IR) or Transversal (TA) in nature.

EUROCONTROL brings to this new SESAR challenge its wide-ranging technical competence, combining the operational knowledge and expertise of the Network Manager with our long-standing and world-renowned Research & Development experience.

PJ24 NCM is based on a collaborative approach involving the whole spectrum of ATM actors: airspace users, airports, air navigation service providers and the Network Manager (NM).

A VLD is designed to pave the way for a full-scale deployment of the SESAR solutions, acting as a bridge between the mature R&D V3 elements of the SESAR 1 concept, and their operational deployment through the use of SESAR-labelled end-user demonstration platforms and infrastructure. These VLDs are included in the SESAR 2020 Programme with the specific purpose of generating confidence and buy-in from the main ATM stakeholders, and also as a means of significantly reducing the business risks for both operational stakeholders and industry.

Network Collaborative Management is all about helping meet performance targets and expectations at network and local levels, a challenge that requires a collaborative and synchronised effort on the part of all the involved actors in air traffic flow and capacity management (ATFCM).

NM is optimally placed to bring together the network and local perspectives on ATFCM when conducting a more dynamic Demand and Capacity Balancing (DCB) process, taking into account as much as possible all the needs of the different participating ATM actors (including airspace users), and projecting the potential impact of various local ATFCM measures at the overall network level. NM is also in the unique position of supporting these ATM actors in their decision-making process through its dedicated systems and data repositories, as well as through the considerable knowledge and expertise gained over more than 20 years of continuous ATFCM operations.

PJ24, according to Pascal Hop, EUROCONTROL Project Lead, is “a trust-building exercise designed to demonstrate the maturity of the integrated network and local concept elements including the interactions between all ATM actors. It will pave the way for SESAR deployment activities and the implementation of the future, more performance-driven ATM environment in Europe, while fulfilling at the same time stakeholders’ different operational needs and requirements”.

An important part of improving the performance of network operations is the effective and efficient planning of network resources. PJ24 aims at linking local optimisation processes (including airport processes) with network optimisation processes, taking into account stakeholders’ preferences where possible. This will also facilitate the innovative usage and application of fine-tuned tailored measures (including target times) to further enhance performance.

To deliver its goal of enhanced Network Collaborative Management, PJ24 will conduct its Demonstration activities into four main focus areas:

  • Scenario management (including “hotspot awareness”) aimed at the Network perspective (with local input and support)
  • Tactical capacity management aimed at the local perspective (facilitated by network support)
  • Airspace user preferences, feeding both local and network perspectives
  • Airport network integration at the local level.

In this overall context, NM will demonstrate its capability to act as a reliable, dynamic and flexible binding agent between the various building blocks (namely air navigation service providers, airports and airspace users) of this new, improved and highly interactive ATM system, where each element brings its own unique sine qua non contribution to the robustness of the entire structure.

PJ24 is part of the ambitious SESAR 2020 programme that aims to develop new technologies and operational procedures to support the implementation of the Single European Sky concept. Through SESAR 2020, EUROCONTROL brings to bear its technical expertise, knowledge and capabilities as an independent and neutral pan-European technical ATM organisation in order to support the interests of the European network as a whole, helping improve performance at the network level, ensuring interoperability at the European and worldwide level, and making European aviation more efficient and higher performing.

Participants at the SESAR 2020 PJ24 kick-off event at EUROCONTROL.

The participants at the SESAR 2020 PJ24 kick-off event on 17 and 18 November 2016 at the EUROCONTROL Headquarters in Brussels.

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