Flight plan and flight data evolution

Improving air traffic management planning across Europe's air traffic management network.

This project co-ordinates the gradual implementation, in a harmonised way, of the processes, procedures and systems adaptations required to elaborate and to share 4D trajectory information for planning purposes, enabling better quality air traffic management (ATM) planning across the European ATM network. The project provides an initial step towards Trajectory Based Operations (TBO) and includes developments in support of the ICAO Flight and Flow Information for a Collaborative Environment (FF-ICE)


The following evolutions of our current systems will be implemented as part of this project:

  • FF-ICE/R1 step 1 - implementation of the FF-ICE filing service allowing the submission of flight plans that include 4D trajectory information, flight specific performance data, and other FF-ICE data elements, such as the globally unique flight identifier (GUFI). In addition NM has implemented an FF-ICE trial service and an FF-ICE flight data request service. The trial service will enable operators to determine the acceptability/validity and the ATM impact on a flight plan without actually filing the plan. The flight data request service can be used to obtain information about a flight such the complete flight plan, supplementary flight data or the filing status. All these exchanges will take place via system-wide information management (SWIM) and using the flight information exchange model (FIXM);
  • FF-ICE/R1 step 2 - implementation of the FF-ICE publication service will allow the distribution of FF-ICE flight plans to ATC and airports while the FF-ICE notification service allows provision of Departure and Arrival information, subject to local requirements and arrangements;
  • FF-ICE/R1 step 3 - implementation of the FF-ICE planning service with the associated automated CDM processes through which NM can provide back to an operator the restrictions and constraints applicable to their flight, while obtaining early flight intent information that will aid in demand assessment and ATM resource planning. NM will also implement CDM processes and procedures between NM and European ANSPs for constructing a consolidated European feedback that NM will include in the response provided to each submitted flight plan;
  • Flight objects/FF-ICE/R2 - system upgrades necessary to ensure the EUROCONTROL Network Manager (NM) system can exchange flight information with ANSPs/ASPs expanding the use of the system-wide information management (SWIM) network as required, primarily during the flight’s execution phases;
  • Operational Air Traffic (OAT) flight planning - stepped implementation of reception, processing and distribution, by NM systems, of flight plans for flights that operate as OAT. It includes the use by OAT flights of reserved airspaces;
  • Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight planning - stepped implementation of reception, processing and distribution, by NM systems, of flight plans for flights that operate as VFR;
  • Integration of extended projected profile (EPP) - ensuring a consistent view on the flight trajectory between air and ground systems and improving the NM system trajectory prediction calculations.

Implementation status

  • FF-ICE/R1 Step 1 – initial operational availability achieved with NM Release 23.0 with further evolutions towards alignment with the ICAO Specification in subsequent NM Releases. Further details can be obtain from the Network Manager Release Notes (linked below) or by contacting the FPFDE Team at – [email protected].

Network Manager Release Notes NM-26

Expected Benefits

  • High fidelity traffic demand resulting from enriched and coordinated trajectory information, including aircraft performance data;
  • Better traffic predictability for better anticipation of traffic clustering and definition of dynamic Demand Capacity balancing solutions;
  • More accurate input to arrival and departure management processes, Airspace Users and Airport Operators access to more accurate flight information for local planning purposes;
  • Improved flight efficiencies, including environmental concerns, through the incorporation of preference and constraint information enabling more informed choices;
  • Enables introduction of new concepts of operation and new functionality such as, but not limited to, advanced PBN which may not be supported by the current flight plan format;
  • A progressive migration to Trajectory Based Operations of aircraft operators, air navigation service providers and airports facilitated by an early implementation of FF-ICE by NM;
  • An improved traffic predictability and airspace capacity utilisation in Europe due to interoperability and data exchange between Europe and other adjacent Regions
  • OAT integration is expected to enhance the processes associated with determining demand, enabling better resource allocation in support of advanced FUA;
  • VFR integration enables the harmonisation of validation rules, which will benefit the airspaces users and facilitate the execution of the VFR flights.
Acknowledge EU funding square

This project has been co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union.