European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Programme Category


Article available in the following languages:


Virtual Centre


The Virtual Centre concept consists of an innovative Virtual Centre architecture between a Virtual Centre ATSU and ATM Data Service Provider (ADSP), enabling that a volume of airspace can be controlled by one ATSU or another, e.g. depending on the availability of resources, or in order to provide service in the case of contingency. This topic addresses the automation and digitalisation concepts as referred to in the AAS as the ‘capacity-on-demand’ service. The topic covers:

  • ATFCM aspects of airspace delegation amongst ATSUs, making it possible for two neighbouring ATSUs (including ATSUs within the same ANSP) that can deliver service over the same volume of airspace to have a common cross-border rostering scheme. FMP support tools will consider the availability of ATCOs at any given time in both ATSUs when proposing a change of sectorization. This topic should also investigate the cross-border use of the Dynamic Airspace Configurations (DAC) concept. The objective is to make it poss

    In today’s situation Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) usually host a monolithic ATM system in each Air Traffic System Unit (ATSU) with very few information services and infrastructure elements being shared between the different centres. In the virtual centre approach, the controller working positions are decoupled and may even be geographically separated from the ATM information services that they consume, and these ATM information services may be shared between different ATSUs or even between ANSPs. The main benefits expected from the virtual centre approach are cost reduction and more flexibility to support load-balancing between the participating ATSUs, delegation of airspace or manage contingency situations. The development of technical services and common interfaces resulting from new technologies, working methods, and service oriented architectures (SOA) and procedures would also need to address human factors considerations.

    The solutions under the scope of this topic are expected to have a positive impact on the Network improving:

    • The Virtual Centre Concept helps dynamically adapting to changes in capacity e.g. in case of contingency in an ATSU;
    • Cost-efficiency thanks to the interoperability between system and the decoupling of the ATM data provision from the ATC service provision enabling data to be shared between different ATSUs.