EUROCONTROL simulation capabilities and platform for experimentation

World-class air traffic control real-time simulator

EUROCONTROL simulation capability and platform for experimentation

ESCAPE is a scalable EUROCONTROL ATM real-time simulation platform supporting small- and large-scale simulations in the following areas:

  • Airspace design for both en-route and TMA;
  • Evaluation of new operational concepts and controller tools;
  • Pre-operational validation (live trial);
  • Controller training;
  • Research & Development.

Modular build

One of the strengths of ESCAPE is its modular design and maximum use of advanced software engineering solutions. ESCAPE is a full PC/Linux platform based on Corba middleware for dynamic communications between ESCAPE components.

ESCAPE provides a wide set of capabilities such as:

  • Ground capabilities: SYSCO, AMAN, MCTD, MONA, TBS, RTA, STCA, APW, MTAPW, TCT, etc,
  • Air capabilities: high fidelity aircraft performance, RTA, CDA, ASAS, Datalink, etc,
  • A very powerful HMI tool kit (ECHOES) which allows the rapid development of specific and elaborated controller HMI(s),
  • Interface with industrial tool: AMAN (Thales Maestro, Harris OSYRIS), Thales TBS,
  • Interoperabilty with ATM system using SVS or Pitch.

For research, validation and training

ESCAPE will meet your expectations whether you need it for research, operational validation or even training purposes. It features full recording of all controller and pseudo-pilot input, all trajectories flown, all R/T and telephone communications, self-assessment indicators, etc.

These recordings are easily exchangeable for further analysis by the validation or training experts, with ESCAPE’s integrated advanced data processing tools or your own internal tools.

A vast library of human-machine interfaces

Realism plays a large part in the quality of a real-time simulation. To guarantee that metrics generated during the simulation are valid, the participating air traffic controllers (ATCOs) must behave like in a real operational environment and therefore must be able to use their own human-machine interface (HMI). Moreover, this reduces the familiarisation time to the minimum. ATCOs can just sit and control. Our ESCAPE simulation platform makes all of this possible.

Over the last decades at EUROCONTROL we have developed a vast library of HMIs used in close to one hundred real-time simulations.

We cover almost all existing and available HMIs in use in Europe, be they industry based (Thales, Indra, LEONARDO, etc.) or proprietary. These different HMIs can be freely combined in a multi-stakeholder simulation context.

“The EUROCONTROL team was very committed to implement our requirements… I was amazed about the flexibility of the platform.”

Daniel Harea ROMATSA

At a glance

600 +

aircraft flying simulations

1000 +

flight plans

64 +

controller working positions

50 +

pilot working positions


available HMIs


HMIs per simulation

Analysis tools

ESCAPE’s own analysis tools allow you to quickly post-process exercise data and produce ‘dashboard’ reports to be used during debriefings or to rapidly analyse special events occurring during the simulation. Data can be forwarded to our set of environmental analysis tools like IMPACT to calculate greenhouse gas emissions or build a noise map.

Airspace and traffic data can also be imported from your own source or from EUROCONTROL’s rich warehouse of archived or forecast traffic and airspace data.

SESAR compliant

To make sure ESCAPE remains the most suitable platform for research simulations, we integrated the latest EUROCONTROL and SESAR concepts like 4DT (4D trajectory management), TBS/LORD (time-based separation, optimised runway delivery), PMS (point-merge system), ETA/RTA/TTA (target times of arrival), etc.

And of course it already features CPDLC functions (data link) and other tools to support the operation of Free Routes.

A powerful platform for any scenario on scale

With the affordable, SESAR-compliant ESCAPE platform, you can replicate any ATC system to validate any ATM concept. Provided free of charge (software only – with an administration fee) to EUROCONTROL Member States, and worldwide to universities and research establishments, the solution has a modular design that enables a wide range of capabilities including CPDLC, high‑fidelity aircraft performance, datalink and powerful HMI tool kit.


ESCAPE is now available on a light platform. You can run the platform on as few as two laptops and scale it up according to your needs. This is an ideal solution to conduct smaller real-time simulations at your own premises, be it for training, research projects or small scale airspace improvements.

This light ATC real-time simulator is a lightweight yet still high-performance version of our ESCAPE software. It has been adapted to run on a series of laptops, optionally complemented with external screens.

The number of simulated sectors is expandable and only limited by the number of interconnected laptops. As with the standard platform, the light version includes controller working positions and pseudo-pilots working positions.

Light-weight high-performance ATC simulator ESCAPE Light

The ESCAPE modular design enables easy adjustment of the ATC tools setup according to the needs of the scenario.

These tools can be selected from a wide range of existing capabilities, e.g. safety nets, datalink, high fidelity aircraft performance and powerful HMI tool kit. A significant quantity of data is recorded, including controller and pilot interactions, safety alerts, a/c movements, tracks. They are available for post-exercise processing; either for statistical analysis, training or for research purposes.

The ESCAPE software is provided free of charge (with an administrative fee) to EUROCONTROL Member States and, worldwide, to universities and research establishments.


Contact us to learn more.

About our simulation services

Validation of air traffic management concepts through simulations

Realistic air traffic control, airport and flow management systems for simulations and training

IT developments and human-machine interfaces for air traffic management simulators

Assistance and consultancy for external airspace simulations