Improving climb and descent predictions in 4D trajectory


At EUROCONTROL, we are working on introducing artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) components into the prediction of the climb and descent rates of flights taking off from or landing at an airport located in the EUROCONTROL Network Manager (NM) area.

Through this project, we will deliver a more accurate 4D trajectory, improving the network's performance and benefiting our operational stakeholders.


The 4D trajectory or flight profile is a representation of the four-dimensional path that a flight is expected to follow between departure and arrival aerodrome. The profile calculation is required to validate the route of that flight, to determine the address list for the distribution of messages and to facilitate air traffic forecasting. 

An accurate 4D flight trajectory during its tactical phase (when the flight is airborne) is instrumental for the provision of an accurate network impact assessment. It helps optimise operational measures implemented in congested airspace. 

4D trajectory is (re)calculated in the context of many different services delivered by the EUROCONTROL Network Manager supporting various actors’ needs, including flight dispatcher, air traffic controllers and flow management position among others.

Progress and certification

This is an ongoing project that has passed the prototyping phase. It is in the process of being certified as part of EASA's AI level 1 guidance material.