• SJU reference # PJ.10-02a1 /Release 2019
  • Stakeholders
  • Benefits Capacity
    Operational efficiency
  • Status Available for industrialisation/deployment


The latest controller decision-support tools help to ensure safe separation between aircraft during en-route flight phases as well as in the terminal manoeuvring area. As a consequence, controllers rely on a high number of tactical interventions and use multiple radar vectors, stepped climbs and descents, in order to maintain separation between aircraft in high traffic situations. SESAR examined ways of delivering more accurate predictions of present and future aircraft positions through the use of aircraft-derived data, reducing the need for so many tactical interventions. 

The solution aims at improving the tactical separation in the en-route and terminal area operational environments through improved ground trajectory prediction. This is achieved using existing information on lateral and vertical clearances that are known by the ground system and airborne information such as Mode S data.

The solution tested enhanced controller support tools and used extended air traffic planning procedures such as the multi sector planning position and extended ATC planning role described on the preceding page. Testing focused on tactical and planning controllers and included a fast-time simulation, several real-time simulations and a shadow mode trial.

The results showed improved situational awareness for controllers, better predictability and greater separation margins. The medium term conflict detection (MTCD) service, What-if and What-else services created an eco-system of ATC tools. When adapted to the free route high complexity environment, the addition of trajectory management tools, conflict detection and resolution tools, monitoring aids and electronic coordination all contributed to improved controller situational awareness. The What-else tool was especially important in high density traffic.

The increased level of automation suggested a potential increase in controller productivity. This was estimated at between 1.6% and 5.6% en-route, and 0.7% in the terminal manoeuvring area.

ANSPs also benefited from a capacity gain, estimated at around 4% on average, leading to an increase in cost efficiency. Estimated benefits reach more than 50% of the initial investment after just one year of operation. The solution is ready for industrialisation.


Enhanced safety

Optimised en-route and TMA capacity

Enhanced predictability