Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


This VLD will assess the benefit of using real flights Aircraft Information to improve the ATC operations in at least one ground industrial platform in a close to operational environment; it will serve as Proof of Concept for AF#6 as defined in the PCP.

This VLD shall illustrate the combination and synchronization of key PCP Air and Ground functionalities in order to demonstrate how improved consistency between air and ground trajectories through the air-to-ground down-linking of trajectory data enhances the overall performance of ATM (e.g. Separation Service delivery, Traffic Synchronisation). These ATC operations are at the heart of ground-based systems developed by SESAR. The use of downlinked airborne data allows for more precise anticipation of the air traffic situation, which reduces the need for tactical intervention.

Maximum benefits are expected be realised for trajectory prediction for the climb and descent phases of flight, because airborne 4D trajectory information will allow the ATM system to plan against each individual aircraft’s updated speed schedule plan, which often needs to be changed during the execution phase due to changes in the operational environment (e.g. Top-Of-Descent (TOD) variability, MET factors, updated 2D route). Execution-phase airborne speed schedule updates are currently not exchanged with the ground ATM infrastructure. ANSPs are consequently forced to work with trajectory prediction based on pre-departure speed schedules only. In particular, use of airborne 4D trajectory data in ground trajectory prediction feeding an Extended Arrival Manager (E-AMAN) will result in more stable arrival planning, which will benefit not only the ANSP, but also the airport hence overall network performance.


This VLD will demonstrate the first steps towards improved predictability at both Network and local level through the improved use of target times and trajectory information. The sharing and use of on-board 4D trajectory data by the ground ATC system will result in improved predictability. This improved predictability of aircraft trajectory will benefit both airspace users and ANSPs and is expected to have positive impact on fuel saving and reduction of delay variability.

This VLD will help prepare the environment (anticipating the full scale deployment under the responsibility of the SESAR Deployment Manager) for initial 4D (i4D) and the later use of Controlled Time of Arrival (CTA) and Controlled Time Over (CTO) although these two last elements remain outside the scope for this VLD as they are not sufficiently mature at this stage.

This VLD is an integral part of the SESAR Solutions delivery approach towards the SESAR deployment phase. The objective of this demonstration is to bridge “industrial research” and “deployment” related to the PCP ATM Functionality 6 (as defined in Commission Implementing Regulation EU No 716/2014), and not to replace either type of activity.


Initial Trajectory Information Sharing – Initial 4D (i4D) consists of the improved use of target times and trajectory information, including where available the use of on-board 4D trajectory data by the ground ATC systems and Network Manager systems, implying fewer tactical interventions and improved de-conflicting. The predicted trajectory can be synchronised between the ground system and the aircraft by the downlink of trajectory data between equipped aircraft and service providers that are able to incorporate this information into their Flight Data Processing System (FDPS). Furthermore improved interoperability between the ground systems of adjacent Air Traffic Service Units (ATSU) shall enable better exchange of the trajectory data supporting better coordination between centres, extending the horizon where ground trajectory prediction tools can meet the accuracy requirements that are necessary for them to be used for advanced Air Traffic Management (ATM) service provision.

Once awarded this VLD should:

  • establish a limited set of sustainable SESAR high-technology demonstration platforms in relation to the “Enabling Aviation Infrastructure” key feature of the SESAR 2020 programme;

  • illustrate the combination and synchronization of key PCP Air and Ground functionalities in order to demonstrate a global improvement of ATM system performance (e.g. Separation Service delivery, Traffic Synchronisation);

This VLD shall aim at minimum at a SESAR system demonstration in a close-to-operational environment including the preparation and platform availability to support demonstrations in targeted operational environments involving end-users. The involvement of these end-users to perform the related operational demonstration will be contracted through open calls that will be awarded in a second step and will run in parallel.

Record Number: 700393 / Last updated on: 2016-10-18