Cooperative Traffic Management (CTM)

The SES Performance Targets for the Reporting Period (RP2 – 2015-2019), and today’s ongoing economic pressure - especially on airspace users - make it imperative to improve both flight- and cost-efficiency. This has to be done while simultaneously reducing constraints for airspace users and maintaining or improving current safety levels.

The SESAR deployment objectives, as reflected in the Pilot Common Project (PCP) proposal, include a number of performance improvements in the period up to 2019. They cover taking steps towards time-based ATFCM and improving predictability.

The Network Manager established the Cooperative Traffic Management (CTM) strategic project to address the deployment of improved ATFCM in a harmonised way throughout Europe.

The CTM Strategic Project aims at optimising traffic delivery through a cooperative approach: the ATM network, ATC, flight operations and airports work together and, with the introduction of time-based processes, make for a  smoother and more predictable sequencing of flights into ATC sectors and airports.

CTM includes interdependent activities to further reduce the need for ATFCM regulation and is an important step towards time-based operations. In essence, it is the collaborative process of determining and implementing optimal solutions for network operations through the continuous information sharing of individual and local preferences, in both the planning and execution phases of ATM.

CTM covers:

  • the implementation of Short-Term ATFCM Measures (STAMs) based on occupancy counts (including mandatory cherry picking) and targeted ATFCM measures on the day of operation;
  • improvements to traffic predictability by reducing over-deliveries and eliminating ‘intruders’ through better adherence to the last filed flight plan, while recognising the continued need for (managed) flexibility;
  • the introduction of Target Time operations to improve the delivery of traffic and to reduce the shortcomings of CTOT (which are restricted to the departure phase only) by extending the management of time-measures into the ATC execution phase, located at the constraint itself;
  • support to Arrival Sequencing (including Extended AMAN) to offer effective support to ATC’s arrival sequencing processes, either directly by improving predictability and smoothing the arrival sequence, or more indirectly to en-route ATC in the case of extended AMAN procedures;
  • initial User Driven Prioritisation Process (UDPP) allowing airspace users to optimise departure sequences for flights affected by network constraints.

Linked together in the Cooperative Traffic Management approach, those activities are expected to maximise flight efficiency.

Cooperative Traffic Management is one of the NM Strategic Projects featuring in the Network Strategy Plan (NSP) and the Network Operations Plan (NOP); both these plans map out the actions needed to meet the RP2 performance targets.


These CTM enablers will be need to be harmonised:

  • concept and operational procedures refinement;
  • local ATM systems’ adaptation and compatibility across the network;
  • airspace users’ enhanced flight planning;
  • appropriate system support at Network level;
  • supporting ATFCM/ASM processes and validation through real time simulations at Network, FAB and local levels.

Operational stakeholders

Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs), National Safety Agencies (NSAs), military authorities, aircraft operators (AOs), Computerised Flight Plan Service Providers (CFSPs).


The use of Occupancy Counts for STAMs by some FMPs has led to significant reductions in ATFCM delay. Wider deployment will further minimise the need for regulations. System-supported ATFCM coordination processes will ensure that all operational partners are involved in establishing measures when required. Improved predictability – which is needed to execute ATFCM measures effectively - will increase ATC confidence in ATFCM planning, so helping reduce capacity margins.


Take control of your flight plan

Enhanced Slot Swapping will give more flexibility to airspace users

Dynamic Demand & Capacity Balancing