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Mission trajectory validation promises optimised civil-military coordination in busy airspace

More flexible civil-military cooperation is increasingly key to maximising the use of airspace and helping meet the capacity demands of the future. The recent successful Mission Trajectory-driven Processes validation exercise carried out by EUROCONTROL, Airbus Defence & Space and Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic has taken an important step towards deploying a key SESAR deliverable that aims at sharing data between civil and military systems, integrating military traffic intentions into the European ATM network overseen by the EUROCONTROL Network Manager (NM), and improving en-route capacity and network predictability as a result.

Teams from the EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre in Brétigny, France; Airbus Defence & Space in Immenstaad, Germany, and Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic in Prague, successfully proved the feasibility of improved Operational Air Traffic Flight Plans (iOAT FPL) that are fully compliant with the complete set of civil aviation rules and restrictions, without however compromising military mission needs (where this was not possible, the use of existing exemption mechanisms was successfully validated in order to protect mission needs).

Running from 20 to 22 May, the teams at the three different sites called upon the EUROCONTROL Network Manager (NM)’s adapted IFPS and ETFMS client (EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre); an ATC and Flow Management/Tactical Capacity Management position (Czech ANS control centre); and a Wing Operations Centre (WOC) (Airbus Defence & Space).

The exercise demonstrated that a military WOC can produce complex military flight plans that respect EUROCONTROL NM restrictions, that the exemption policy works well, and that the concept is viable for further validations in the V3 phase (Pre-Industrial Development & Integration). In the exercise, iOAT FPLs were correctly distributed via NM’s B2B services to the corresponding ATC flight data systems. Furthermore, NM Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System (ETFMS) information extended with military flight plan information were successfully shared with local flow management position systems.

Integrating iOAT Flight Plans into the ATM network is expected to advance civil-military coordination, facilitate cross-border operations and contribute to a more complete picture of the pan-European civil and military air traffic situation. The Mission Trajectory Driven Processes package is part of SESAR Solution PJ07.03, the Optimised Airspace User Operations project (OAUO), with tasks contributed by PJ18.01a. The V3 validation phase will, once successfully completed, be followed by the V4 phase (Industrialisation).