Enhanced arrivals and departures

Developing operational improvements to the flow of arriving and departing traffic within the E-TMA.

The SESAR2020 project PJ01 - Enhanced arrivals and departures (EAD) -  addresses the development of concepts, tools and procedures to increase the capacity of terminal areas to meet forecast traffic growth in a safe, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable manner.

Our role

In addition to bringing the pan-European perspective through the contribution and review of concept and validation documents, EUROCONTROL conducted three activities with partners:

  • analysis of the interaction between arrival management and network management;
  • development and application of new metrics based on data-driven algorithms to characterise arrival operations;
  • development and validation of new procedures to support independent parallel approaches.

Activities and major outcomes

Activity 1: Interaction between arrival management and network management

Objective: Investigate the potential interaction between arrival management and network management when extending the arrival horizon.
Method: Analyse the effect of different arrival horizons, with and without the integration of network management, on regulated en-route capacity overflows and on arrival management delays.
Achievement: Macroscopic mathematical modelling of arrivals to five major airports over a 400-NM horizon for a total of 90,000 flights
Outcomes: Two key results raising the question of trade-offs and level of performances are expected in terms of capacity limits (tolerance): (1) occurrences of capacity overflows over extended horizons when network management regulations are not integrated into arrival management; (2) slight reduction in flight efficiency (shift of ground and en-route delays towards terminal delay) when regulations are integrated.

Activity 2: New metrics for arrival operations

Objective: Characterise current or future arrival operations, and identify best practices, potential inefficiencies and improvement areas.
Method: Consider three perspectives – trajectory deviations, sequencing and separation – in relation to the level of congestion.
Achievement: Data-driven analysis of arrivals to the top four airports within 40 NM, for a total of 500,000 flights, using computing capacity from the real-time simulation infrastructure
Outcomes: Key results reflecting the level of difficulty and sensitivity of arrival operations in dense and complex environments. Deviation: decrease in vertical efficiency with the level of congestion, but a noticeable variability with similar levels of congestion. Sequencing: progressive convergence of the spacing, but with late ‘reactionary’ effects of back propagation of spacing variations within tight sequences. Separation: increase in the exposure to close proximity and high dynamicity with the level of congestion.

Activity 3: New procedures for independent parallel approaches

Objective: Improve parallel approach operations in dense/complex TMAs with a focus on safety and environment. 
Method: Combine initial route structures, reducing the need for open loop vectoring, and transitions to final providing increased segregation of arrival flows and standard intercepts. 
Achievement: From small-scale simulations in a generic environment to full-scale real-time simulations in the Paris CDG environment. Mathematical collision risk modelling (with TU Dresden) for a total of 100,000 flights
Outcomes: Design principles (‘good properties’) to facilitate path stretching/shortening without vectoring and generalising point merge, application to Paris CDG with the integration of crossing downwind. Sensitivity analysis of risks of loss of separation or collision.


NATS, DSNA, ENAIRE, Airbus, Thales