Operational Excellence Programme Work Stream 5: Enhancing Sector Throughput

The EUROCONTROL Operational Excellence Programme brings together operational stakeholders to identify operational and technical evolutions and ensure their harmonised implementation across the European aviation network.

Work Stream 5 of the Programme aims to identify a common set of requirements to increase sector throughput while at the same time contributing to improved efficiency and performance of the air traffic network as a whole.

The EUROCONTROL Network Manager is working closely with air navigation service providers on several topics to achieve this. Taking into account the traffic demand, airspace availability, ATCO staffing and ATM system capabilities, Work Stream 5 also brings forward the benefits of OLDI exchanges of limited trajectory data, upgrading existing MTCD/TC tools with "what if" capabilities to better analyse and prepare for traffic complexity as well as the implementation of harmonised dynamic airspace configurations.

The Operational Excellence Programme was created to complement the development and implementation of the Airspace Restructuring Programme. It will deliver gradual improvements taking into consideration other ongoing major projects as well as systems connectivity and interoperability and improvement of operational procedures.

The deliverables of the programme will include identification, sharing and implementation of operational and technical evolutions to deliver harmonised common operational capabilities among all operational stakeholders.

Working Arrangements and Stakeholder Input

Through the NM stakeholder working arrangements, the following air navigation service providers have volunteered to act as champions, meaning they will share their experience and best practice to support other air navigation service providers in their efforts to enhance sector throughput:

WST 05 Enhancing sectors throughput, including occupancies Champion
05.01 Achievement higher sector throughputs MUAC, PANSA, Hungarocontrol, IAA, ENAV, ROMATSA
05.02 OLDI exchanges of limited trajectory data Hungarocontrol, ROMATSA
05.03 What-If probing tool for traffic complexity and MTCD BULATSA, Hungarocontrol, ROMATSA
05.04 Harmonised implementation of Dynamic Airspace Configurations FINEST, Hungarocontrol, IAA, ENAV, ROMATSA


A key objective of air traffic flow management is to ensure that no ATC sector becomes overloaded and air traffic controllers can always safely control all aircraft in that sector. At present that is mostly achieved by monitoring sector loads, either entry rates or occupancy – in other words how many aircraft enter or are in that sector at a given time. This contributes the traffic throughput of a sector. In a series of webinars for air traffic controllers, flow managers and other ATM experts champions of work stream 5 share their best practise to enhance sector throughput

9 October 2023

Benefits of flow management tools to enhance sector throughput – A review of best practices by skyguide

In this webinar, Skyguide's capacity and ATFCM experts Monia Boubraki and Robert Rudigier illustrated how a tailored use of a flow management tool helps optimising the management of air traffic flows and sector capacities, ultimately maximising airspace throughput.

21 June 2023

Best practices on enhancing sector throughput – Dynamic sectorisation and flexible airspace management

In this webinar, Debora Palombi and Fabio Longo, air traffic controllers at ENAV, explained how dynamic sectorisation contributes to higher sector throughput in a complex and constantly changing ATM environment, while increasing resilience, flexibility and ultimately improving the overall network performance.

9 June 2023

Best practice on enhancing sector throughput – skyguide’s operational review on conflict detection tools, including MTCD and what-if functionalities

In this webinar, skyguide offered an overview of the evolutions of conflict detection tools, including MTCD and what-if functionalities, and how those have been allowing the achievement of higher sector throughput.

16 February 2023

Webinar on ATC support tools hosted by EUROCONTROL and ROMATSA

In this webinar, Adrian Niculae from ROMATSA offered the Romanian air navigation service provider's perspective on how to achieve higher sector throughput, including the use of controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC), ATC support tools, OLDI exchanges and "what if" probing tools for traffic complexity and Medium-Term Conflict Detection (MTCD).

24 March 2023

Webinar on Implementing Automated Support for Traffic Complexity Assessment at BULATSA

An overview of initial operational experience hosted by EUROCONTROL and BULATSA

In this webinar, Mihail R. Tzenkov from BULATSA shared the Bulgarian air navigation service provider's best practises to enhance sector throughput and explains how an approach based on traffic complexity can allow to handle more traffic on average while keeping the required safety levels than one based on a fixed limit.