The need to achieve greater ATM capacity within a finite airspace has given rise to the need for greater precision, higher granularity, and improved sharing of commonly used data, in particular, with respect to predicted flight trajectories. The ability to achieve these objectives is enabled by new technologies that will enhance data exchanges and availability at all levels, with improved services, procedures, and data constructs, improving data consistency, flexibility, and extensibility. These measures will facilitate greatly improved potential for Collaborative Decision Making.
These changes are endorsed globally and need to be translated into a European, NM context. On the global side the airspace user’s community and ICAO have recognized that current methods will not serve the emerging concepts for supporting traffic growth and efficiencies. The ICAO Flight and Flow Information for Collaborative Environment (FF-ICE) initiatives are already in development.
In parallel with this, Europe is taking regulatory initiatives to expedite the transition towards deployment of new ATM concepts and technologies. These will enable the move towards trajectory and performance-oriented operations, which promise benefits to all stakeholders across the main key performance areas.
These technology changes will be introduced across Europe, representing new paradigms in capabilities for ATM service enhancements. Improved procedures and related information exchanges, enabled by SWIM, will reform interoperability and service provisions, taking the entire Airspace User and ATM domain well into the mainstream information exchange paradigm.
These developments are already well advanced. European Network Management now needs to evaluate the implications of all these developments and decide on how to move forward with viable objectives and alternatives.
A ‘big bang’ transition is not considered feasible. One of the greatest challenges is to determine how the NM can move forward, while at the same time continuing to support the current methods and procedures. Mixed modes of old and new operations are unavoidable and are supported by the strategy. An important aspect of this is the ICAO objective for minimising Airspace User development investment and allowing voluntary migration to new methods, whilst actively promoting the benefits.