Modernising air traffic management in Europe – the integrated way

Apr. 24, 2018

SESAR 2020 takes an integrated approach to modernising Europe’s air traffic management (ATM), with over 18 projects addressing different aspects of system. The programme relies on the Content Integration (PJ19) project to support the delivery of solutions that are interoperable and bring optimum performance in terms of capacity, cost-efficiency, the environment and safety.

PJ19 CI assesses the completeness, consistency and coherency of the solutions from a holistic perspective as represented in the SESAR Concept of Operations. The Project also contributes to assessing the maturity of solutions and their readiness for deployment. The project maintains SESAR’s performance framework, ensuring its applicability. As such, PJ19 CI maps the overall performance of the SESAR against the expected performance improvements as outlined in the European ATM Master Plan, the roadmap for modernising ATM in Europe.

Two years since the launch of SESAR 2020, the benefits and the added value of using a common framework is clearly paying off, with projects progressively integrating their content. “A common and trusted framework gives the SESAR Joint Undertaking a level of confidence to take key decisions on standardisation, deployment and implementation - and also to report to different decision levels: ATM stakeholders, EU (Single Sky), European Parliament, airspace users and airports. This framework is also fundamental in managing the programme itself as well as assessing the solutions,” observed David Bowen, Chief of ATM, SESAR Joint Undertaking.  

EATMA_content.jpgA key tool to achieving integration is the European ATM Architecture Framework (EATMA). The framework enables projects to collaborate with other projects  and input their solution data, develop modelling operational scenarios and customise dashboards allowing experts to follow progress on solutions. The entire information is shared throughout the programme via the eATM portal.

 “The architecture tool feature allowing automatic generation of section three of the Operational, Service and Environment Definition (OSED) is a great help for all task members when reviewing the operational concept and its modelling in particular,” commented Anthony Inard, EUROCONTROL, who is content integration leader for the “increased runway and airport throughput” project (PJ02).

EATMA_content.jpgThe project also organises workshops providing projects with hands-on support in using the framework and its tools. “The process of developing the initial operational models through an interactive workshop was a really beneficial way of immersing ourselves in the Solution concept - and of improving our understanding of how it may interact with other stakeholders,Sian Andrews, NATS, who is solution lead in the “enhanced arrival and departures” project (PJ01-EAD).

For our project, the eATM portal not only provides us with a baseline to model our solution but will also support our demonstration exercises. It is important that all projects use the same baseline and descriptions, as this will provide a level of harmonisation throughout the entire research and development portfolio,” said Richard Beaulieu (Thales), a solution lead in the “virtual centres” project (PJ16 - controller working position-human machine interface).

 “For us, the eATM portal has been the glue pasting the first pieces of our business model puzzle together. As an enabling project, it is capital to clarify our supporting role for other ATM solutions. The eATM Portal gives us a user-friendly and up-to-date view of these links. Some pieces of our puzzle are still missing but the picture is looking better every day,” said Borja Martinez Fernandez, EUROCONTROL, content integration leader for the “common services” project (PJ15-COSER)

The fact that no major issues have been detected so far between the SESAR 2020 Concept of Operations (CONOPS) and the available solutions operational concept elements is an encouraging sign that the framework is being effectively used - and that it enhances the alignment of operational content,” said Gabriele Zaki, DFS, concept of operations leader in PJ19 CI.

More about PJ 19

More about the eATM portal