The Network Manager reports on its achievements in 2013

18 August 2014

The Network Manager’s goal is to continually improve the air traffic management network’s performance through effective operational partnerships. By taking a network-centric stance, it coordinates and consolidates all activities, making sure that the focus is on the wider general interest.

In 2013, the Network Manager did a great deal to help resolve bottlenecks and promote fluidity in the pan-European network. In the annual report for 2013, you can read about our activities and achievements in that year.

2013: targets met

2013 was another busy year for the NM, marked by a number of significant achievements.

NM focused on the actions needed to achieve the performance targets of the first Reference Period (RP1) of the SES Performance Scheme.

This meant:

  • enhancing network operations management;
  • improving flight efficiency improvements;
  • synchronising major ATM changes;
  • mitigating the impact of strikes on the network’s overall performance;
  • expanding the flexibility of capacity management in some ACCs, constrained because of social tension or rigidity in opening control sectors;
  • supporting safety improvements;
  • integrating airports into the network.

Network Capacity

The main performance indicator is the en-route ATFM delay measured in minutes per flight; the network performance target for 2013 was 0.6 min/ flight. This target was exceeded: at the end of 2013, en-route ATFM delay was 0.53 min/flight. This is the best delay rate since measurement began.

This result was particularly commendable in a year that was marked by a significant amount of industrial action, which caused 13.6% of total delays. Had there been no industrial action, there would have been just 0.46 min/flight of en-route delay.

Our contribution to delay savings

In addition to the targets defined for the network, the Network Manager Performance Plan (NMPP) includes a range of other indicators so that stakeholders may appreciate how much NM contributes to the ATM network’s performance. The main target for NM is to reduce en-route ATFM delays by 10% below the figures set out in the plans for 2012-2014.

NM’s contribution to delay savings in 2013 were calculated on accepted Re-routing Proposals (RRPs) and the Network Manager Operations Centre’s direct action.

NM’s overall en-route delay reduction in 2013 was almost 800,000 minutes; this is equivalent to 0.08 min/flight. Without this contribution, the delay in 2013 would have been 0.61min/flight. This equates to 13.7% of the annual network delay. Around 132,000 minutes of this reduction was achieved via direct re-routings.

Flight Efficiency

The NMPP defined two targets, measuring the route extension from an optimum defined by the great circle distance. One target relates to route design; the other is based on the last filed flight plan. Both key performance indicators have to achieve a reduction of 0.75 percentage points from 2009 to the end of RP1.

The design indicator result in 2013 was 2.8%; this met the target for that year and is on the right path for achieving the RP1 target. The flight plan indicator value in 2013 was 4.57%, missing the target by 0.17 percentage points.

The lowest level ever for flight efficiency was reached in December 2013 with 4.43%. The target was missed mainly due to capacity shortfalls caused by ATC strikes or reduced capacity in some centres.

To close the gap, the NM launched a Flight Efficiency (FE) Initiative which describes the strategic and operational actions it will take in tackling the SES performance targets. The FE Initiative gives both a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the impact of these actions on the performance of the European ATM network.

A number of flight efficiency projects begun in May 2013, like the Network Impact Assessment and Invalid IFPS Queue Treatment, delivered savings of some 180,000 nautical miles in 2013.

Read the full report

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