• SJU reference # PJ.10-01c /Release 2019
  • Stakeholders
  • Benefits Cost-efficiency
    Operational efficiency
  • Status In the pipeline

The need for controllers to coordinate traffic at sector boundaries is not always necessary. Seamless airspace allows coordination between air traffic control sectors by exception rather than procedure, and introduces concepts such as sharing of airspace, flight intent and controller intent.

Two possible operating methods are addressed in this candidate solution. The first aims to remove constraints by applying sector boundaries only when a particular separation problem or traffic management demands. The controllers involved collaborate closely and may issue clearances into, and even operate traffic within, each other’s sectors without prior co-ordination in order to fulfil the overall targets set by the planner. This method can lead to more efficient use of airspace in medium and less dense traffic conditions.
The second method uses planned sector boundaries and is applicable to very high-density airspace. In this case co-ordination is used only when required and relates to tactical operations. It requires initial transfer criteria to be set to a default plan, although controllers can still operate collaboratively as they have access to planned and cleared profiles of flights outside their control. They may also issue clearances without prior co-ordination, or deviate from the default plan, should the traffic environment allow.
The solution makes use of advanced controller tools to reduce the need for co-ordination agreements, requires fewer boundary constraints, and enables constraints to be applied mid-sector rather than on the boundary. It also enhances work in the previous solution (#PJ.10-01a) where sectors are combined into multi-sector planning teams, for example during quieter traffic situations.


  • Reduced fuel consumption and emissions
  • Enhanced predictability
  • Improved operational and cost efficiency
  • Security