Our programmes

We have become a world leader in strategically vital areas of Network Management research such as Advanced Flexible Use of Airspace (AFUA), enhanced Demand Capacity Balancing (eDCB), Trajectory Management and the User Driven Prioritisation Process (UDPP). But our portfolio of expertise is considerably greater. Through cooperative work with SESAR members and other partners, we are contributing to safety enhancement and standardisation work (within EUROCONTROL itself, EUROCAE and ICAO, for example) throughout Europe and beyond. Some areas are reaching a high level of maturity and have started to deliver tangible, proven performance improvements. These are being handed over for deployment under the leadership of the Network Manager and under the wider European Commission Deployment Programme managed by the Deployment Manager. They are also fully addressed as part of NM Strategic Projects. Some are more forward looking, making use of advanced algorithms and modelling techniques. Others are even more exploratory in nature, paving the way for the next generation of Network Management operations and technologies.

Flexible airspace management

New flexible ways of assigning dynamic military airspace will allow military airspace users increased possibilities for new mission trajectories with minimal disruption to the overall network. The programme joins new airspace design concepts, combining advanced flexible use airspace (AFUA) and Free Route airspace procedures. There are two phases. Phase one began in 2010 as part of SESAR 1 and a validation exercise and concept document have been delivered; work is currently taking place between validation and military experts to compile all results into final SESAR deliverables to support forthcoming deployment of AFUA as defined in the European Commission’s Pilot Common Project Implementing Regulation (EC PCP IR). The second phase comprises more forward looking research, linking AFUA with dynamic, mobile airspace sectors for military aircraft use; developing new sector designs supported by automated tools which operate in a Free Route environment.

Optimised airspace user operations - trajectory management and UDPP

The European aviation network will have to handle more flights, more safely, with fewer delays, fewer safety incursions, more cheaply, with more flexibility and at a lower environmental cost than ever before. This will mean introducing a new generation of air traffic flow management tools and a new way of collaborating among operational actors in the network. It will mean bringing air traffic flow management back into the ATC fold to create a true air traffic “enabling” capability, where aircraft operators can fly the best possible routes, based on whether they want to prioritise speed, cost, or environmental performance. It will mean that ATM will need to look at a flight as a whole and no longer as a series of segmented portions with ATC responsibilities spread between different ANSPs along the route.

Enhanced Demand Capacity Balancing

Today it no longer makes sense to systematically apply regulations when demand does not significantly exceed available capacity. This process, although still useful where there is a major imbalance, is no longer acceptable, especially when traffic can be predicted with a more refined level of granularity and accuracy. But all airspace users and local airspace managers must be made aware of the strategic consequences of the tactical decisions they take – re-routing a single flight to save fuel may be beneficial for that individual flight but unless the overall impact of this change is understood at a strategic level it could increase the overall flying time for many other flights. Thanks to improvements made in capacity monitoring accuracy dynamic Demand Capacity Balancing (dDCB) helps to switch capacity management from the current global hour-based traffic limitations to minute-based streamlined actions at sector level.

Aeronautical Information Management

Aviation operations are increasingly data driven and consequently dependent on accurate and timely aeronautical information exchange. ATM/CNS is increasingly based on a networked and interoperable information sharing infrastructure, including the aircraft. With the need for predictability there will be an equal need for temporal geo-spatial information in support of decision-making. In order to improve cost effectiveness, there will be a need for reduced fragmentation, and a rationalised CNS infrastructure and service provision. The objective of D-AIM is to create a test-bed for one of the foundations of future ATM, which is information sharing. The goal of D-AIM is to enable the existing and future operational AIM infrastructure with geo-enabled AIM components (data stores, interfaces), providing the AIM community with an example application of open geospatial interoperability standards in support of digital AIM. This is achieved through the leveraging of current global geospatial standards into the AIM and AIM users environments.


EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre

Our research and development activities are contributing to shaping the future European air traffic management system.

Centre du Bois des Bordes CS 41 005
91222 Les Bordes
+33 1 69 88 75 00