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APACHE Report Summary

Project ID: 699338
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - APACHE (Assessment of Performance in current ATM operations and of new Concepts of operations for its Holistic Enhancement)

Reporting period: 2016-05-09 to 2016-11-08

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

APACHE is a European research project of the first wave of SESAR 2020 Exploratory Research actions that aim at contributing to the modernisation of air traffic management in Europe. These projects are funded by the SESAR Joint Undertaking within the framework of SESAR 2020 and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The project is carried out by an international consortium formed by UPC (Project Coordinator), ALG, UB-FTTE and ENAC. It started on May 9th 2016 and will run for 2 years.
Air transportation is a complex system involving different stakeholders (such as airlines, airports, regulation agencies, air navigation service providers, network manager, etc.) and with different (sometimes conflicting) interests or priorities. Air traffic management (ATM) encompasses operational procedures and human and technological resources devoted to safely guide aircraft through the sky and on the airports, and to manage airspace in such a way it can accommodate as much as possible the changing needs of air traffic over time. ATM is crucial for a safe and efficient air transportation system and must be continuously monitored and improved with new technological advances or enhanced operational procedures. ATM is evolving to a performance-driven service-oriented system and measuring the ATM performance as a whole is an ambitious and complex challenge. In this context, different key performance areas (KPAs) must be taken into account, such as safety, flight efficiency, environmental impact, airspace capacity, air navigation service cost-efficiency, predictability of flights, etc. and novel metrics must be seek in order to properly capture performance in each area. 

APACHE aims at providing advanced simulation, optimisation and assessment tools with the objective to measure ATM performance and capture the complex interdependencies among different KPAs. Enhanced and new metrics will be developed to assess not only current ATM operations, but also aiming to future operational contexts in line with SESAR 2020+ activities.  

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

"Project Management (WP1) was performed by UPC. During the two first months the effort in Management was mainly devoted to setup the management structure and procedures for the execution and monitoring of the project. Deliverable D1.1 (Project Management Plan) was produced as result of these tasks and agreed by the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU). Several meetings (face to face or by teleconference) were held with the purpose to coordinate project management activities, risk monitoring and review of dissemination actions. In particular the project kick-off meeting was held in Brussels on June 14th 2016 and an ordinary Executive Board meeting took place early October 2016.

WP2 "Scope and definition of the concept of operations", led by ALG and with participation of all consortium partners, was the starting point of the project technical activities and produced, as principal outcome, deliverable D2.1 (Scope and definition of the Concept of operations for the project). This document explains the objectives of the APACHE project and the methodology proposed to achieve them. It can be considered as the baseline document of the Project and defines the operational context which encompasses the evaluation studies that will be carried out. The baseline and SESAR 2020 target operations definition within the context of APACHE will permit to settle the scope of the project and trace it within the context of the SESAR program.

In WP2 a distinction was made between the “APACHE Concept” and the “APACHE System”. The APACHE Concept could be thought as the description of an ideal system envisioned in a high TRL (technology readiness level) maturity (i.e., TRL9), in which by means of high-fidelity simulations and enhanced indicators the ATM performance could be measured accurately (and possibly in real time), enabling in this way the future paradigm of Performance Based Operations. The APACHE System is the tool that will be actually built during the scope of the APACHE Project, at an early TRL and subject to some limitations.

Moreover, in WP2 the project limitations and scope were clearly identified and aiming at tracing the scope of the APACHE project within the context of the SESAR program, a group of SESAR solutions were identified as relevant in the framework of the Project. From the complete list of 151 solutions, 23 were identified taking into account the project scope and limitations and considering only SESAR solutions proposed in the SESAR 2020 program. Furthermore, another relevant aspect for this selection has been taken into account: the capabilities that are expected by the APACHE Framework, given the duration and planned effort of the Project. The solutions have been grouped in three different categories, which correspond to the following criteria: SESAR solutions to be (initially) assessed in APACHE; SESAR solutions which impact could be assessed by APACHE if some extra modules and/or input data are provided; and supporting SESAR solutions for APACHE assessments.

WP3.1 "KPI review and definition of novel KPIs", led by UB-FTTE and with participation of all consortium partners, was split in three main tasks:
- WP3.1: "review of current KPIs" (led by UB-FTTE), were different performance frameworks were thoroughly reviewed. In particular, a survey of key performance areas (KPA) and key performance indicators (KPI) was done by analyzing different organizations worldwide, including the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), the Single European Sky (SES) Performance Scheme, Eurocontrol, and the SESAR 2020 performance framework.
- WP3.2; "Proposal of new KPIs" (led by UB-FTTE), devoting a significant effort to enhance current indicators or even proposing new ones aiming at better capturing ATM performance. In this context, 52 new (or enhanced) indicators were proposed across 9 KPAs.
- WP3.3 "Functional requirements and specifications for the APACHE framework" (led by UPC), had the objective to gather all requirements, which emanate from WP2 and WP3.1 and to produce a formal document to specify the software that will form the APACHE system.

As main outcome of WP3.1 and WP3.2, Deliverable D3.1 "Review of current KPIs and proposal for new ones" was produced, while WP3.2 led to Deliverables D3.2 "Functional requirements and specifications for the ATM performance assessment framework".

WP6 "Dissemination, communication and exploitation", led by UPC was split in:
- WP6.1 "Stakeholders consultation and workshops" (led by UB-FTTE), devoting all the effort to organize an open workshop within the activities of the Sixth SESAR Innovation Days to present and discuss with experts the outcomes of WP3.1 and WP3.2.
- WP6.2 "Communication and dissemination" (led by UPC), which was initially focused in setting up the APACHE public web page, twitter account and linkedIn forum and at a latter stage to produce a poster to be presented in the Sixth SESAR innovation days."

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)

Within the activities of APACHE WP3.2 a set of 52 new performance indicators were proposed, organized in 9 key performance areas. This is considered a first contribution of the APACHE project to the ATM community by proposing new indicators that aim at better capturing Performance in ATM.
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