Network operations planning

Meeting network demands by setting tangible milestones for the future.


We ensure the seamless integration of actions to improve the design and utilisation of Europe’s airspace.

In this way we can ensure the delivery of the Single European Sky (SES) II performance targets for capacity and flight efficiency at the European air traffic management (ATM) network and the local/sub-regional levels.


To support air navigation service providers (ANSPs) in their local capacity planning, we make an annual assessment of the capacity delivered and of the capacity required in the medium term. This assessment is done collectively at network level and individually for area control centres (ACCs) within the EUROCONTROL Network Manager area. It takes into account the agreed delay targets, the traffic forecast, the expected traffic distribution over the route network and the balance between cost of delay and cost of air navigation service provision.

Strategic Flow Management takes place 6 months to 7 days before the day of operation and includes planning and coordination activities. We involve all operational stakeholders in our cooperative process. The output of this is the weekly and daily Network Operations Plan. It identifies measures aimed at optimising the utilisation of available capacity. It provides assessments of those measures supported by appropriate operational tools (NEST and DDR). It organises its activities per main axes of traffic flows (South West, South East, North East and Ski Axis). It also covers the coordination and the preparation of major events in the network.

As Network Manager, we ensure the resolution of potential capacity/demand imbalances caused by events. We provide specific event management support to air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and define air traffic flow and capacity management (ATFCM) measures to be applied during the event. Such events can be recurrent (holiday seasons), ad-hoc (the Olympic games) or military exercises. Regardless of the reason, the Network Manager’s foresight allows air traffic management actors to optimise the network through appropriate Axis management.

Tools and methods


Capacity analysis methodology


Demand data repository


EUROCONTROL Airline groups lookup


Network Manager interactive analysis tool


Network strategic tool


System for traffic assignment and analysis at a macroscopic level