Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


OptiFrame Report Summary

Project ID: 699275
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - OptiFrame (An Optimization Framework for Trajectory Based Operations)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The main objective of the OptiFrame research project is the application of principles of mathematical modelling and optimization to optimally configure and assess the performance of the Trajectory Based Operations (TBO) concept. The focus is on the pre-tactical operations planning phase. OptiFrame will allow verifying the viability of the TBO concept, to identify the major issues that need to be addressed, and to understand whether, under which conditions, and to what extent the objectives of flexibility of airspace users and predictability of the Air Traffic Management (ATM) system can be achieved. In particular, OptiFrame aims to demonstrate that is possible to assign trajectories to all flights operating in the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) area simultaneously, taking into account the preferences and priorities of all users (i.e., airlines) and optimizing the overall air traffic system efficiency. The core activity and focus of this research project is the development of a framework, consisting of mathematical models and optimization algorithms, which can be used:
1. to address several of the issues and questions arising for the exploitation and deployment of the TBO concept, to fully understand the benefits and limitations of the TBO approach;
2. to investigate the optimal balance between different contrasting KPIs relevant for the TBO concept;
3. as an engine for the preliminary identification, on a daily basis, of promising ATM interventions on a continental scale in Europe (ECAC-wide area).

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

OptiFrame’s activities performed during the first reporting period (March 1st,2016 to August 31st, 2016) have been fully aligned with the research activities and associated objectives and outcomes described in the project’s work plan. Three major streams of activities were planned and implemented during the first reporting period of the project, namely: project management, technical, and dissemination activities. The project management activities were related to the development and implementation of the Project Management Plan (D1), which was produced within the framework of WP1 activities. In addition to the production of D1, other WP1 activities involved the day-to-day management of the project. An integrated part of the project management activities performed within WP8, was the establishment and reporting of the project’s ethics procedures and the preparation and delivery of the associated ethics deliverables (D17), (D18). The procedures described in the project’s ethics deliverables were implemented and used in the process of organizing the first OptiFrame Stakeholders workshop which took place in Brussels on 5/10/2016.

The technical activities of the project were related to WP2, WP3, WP4, and WP6.

The activities of WP2 were centred around two major project milestones: i) the development and production of the report summarizing the State of the Art on ATFM (interim version of D07), and ii) the organization of the first OptiFrame Stakeholders’ workshop. The work performed in WP2 led to the description of the TBO concept, the identification of barriers and enablers for its implementation, the identification of the issues involved in the definition of the preferences and priorities for the implementation of the TBO concept (which were used as an input for the preparation of the stakeholders’ workshop), and the review of the ATFM literature which is relevant to the modelling of the TBO concept. The other major WP2 milestone was the preparation and organization of the workshop. The Stakeholders’ workshop provides important input for the completion and production of the final version of D07 which should also incorporate the views of the ATM stakeholders regarding their preferences and priorities for the implementation of the TBO concept. The WP3 activities were focussed on the design of the Data Management Platform (DMP), in order to create instances of the network that will be used to develop and test the OptiFrame trajectory optimization models in WP4. The DMP will support the extraction of data from EUROCONTROL’s Demand Data Repository (DDR), and NEST (Airspace Design and Capacity Planning) systems.

The project the WP4 activities were mostly related to exploring the development of alternative preliminary modelling approaches for representing the trajectory based operations optimization problem. Key modelling concepts explored involved issues related to the: i) definition of the preferences and priorities of the various ATM stakeholders, and ii) incorporation of these preferences and priorities into the mathematical models. During the first reporting period WP4 was at its initial stage of exploratory research as any modelling decisions were highly dependent on the outcome of the stakeholders’ workshop that was planned to take place on 5/10/2016.

The work performed within the framework of WP6 was related to the: i) initial assessment of the disturbances affecting TBO operations identified in WP2, ii) the preliminary identification of operational scenarios that incorporate these disturbances, and 3) the preliminary identification of Key Performance Areas (KPAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can be used to measure the impacts of the identified disturbances on the performance of the TBO concept. The work performed in WP6 provided essential input for the preparation of the stakeholders’ workshop where the identified disturbances, scenarios, KPAs/KPIs were planned to be validated.

The dissemination activities involved work performed in WP7 and involved the production of the dissemination plan deliverable (D2), and the establishment of the OptiFrame web site

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

OptiFrame is designed to underpin a new approach to Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) based on mathematical modelling and optimization techniques thus providing the basis for a further maturation of the TBO concept and paving the way to a fully integrated performance based Air Traffic Management (ATM) System. Moreover, this project provides a preliminary step towards a full implementation and realization of the Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) philosophy, which is not only limited to more timely information sharing but also foresees a wider participation of airspace users in the Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) decision making process, thus signalling the basic principles, responsibilities and conditions for participating into it.

OptiFrame addresses (indirect) societal impacts. These impacts stem from a greater adherence to the Air Space Users’ (AUs’) preferences, synchronized Air Traffic Flow and Capacity Management (ATFCM) decisions and better use of air traffic system capacity resources. The higher level of efficiency engendered by OptiFrame, will benefit European citizens through the improvement of the on time performance of flights, the improvement of flight schedule reliability, and possibly reduction of fares, and emissions. OptiFrame will also contribute to a decrease of service provision costs for airlines that should be reflected in air transport cost (fair) for passengers.

The mathematical models for the ATFM domain are in general classified as large-scale optimization problems. The solution of these problems in short computational time necessitates advancements of optimization methodologies.
Record Number: 196385 / Last updated on: 2017-03-29