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ATM Performance


Specific Challenge: The European Air Traffic Management Network (EATMN) is part of the EU critical infrastructure and up to 2004 evolved in an uncoordinated process of deployment. The Single European Sky (SES) initiative was launched with the aim of incrementally restructuring this network to improve its performance in terms of safety, cost efficiency, capacity and flight efficiency, improving the quality of services to airspace users through operational and technical interventions.

To achieve this EATMN a significant change in the way Air Navigation Services (ANS) are regulated, operated, consumed and financed is now undergoing. This evolution is driven by EU-wide performance targets, proposed and monitored through the performance scheme (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 390/2013) within an agreed methodological framework for performance targeting, measuring, base-lining and benchmarking in ATM.

In the face of the evolving approach in the provision of ANS either under monopolistic, competitive or cooperative conditions, the performance scheme should also develop in terms of effectiveness and proportionality and adapt to existing and new business models.

Scope: Projects in this topic could investigate new effective methodologies and tools for micro and macro modelling of performance in ATM, capable of capturing the interdependencies between different Key Performance Areas (KPAs).

The solutions proposed will be independently reviewed by the Performance Review Body (PRB) and will be tested against current data and analysis and compared with current methods, in order to prove their effectiveness in performance planning or monitoring. Also, innovative methods and techniques for effective target setting and benchmarking of ANSP performance, capable of accurately capturing the impact of endogenous and exogenous factors, will be of interest.

Projects can also cover the modelling and analysis of the current performance drivers underpinning each and every stakeholder’s business model as well as their interactions. In addition, the performance impact of new business models and, conversely, the way performance needs could stimulate changes in business models could be studied, e.g. implied by the evolution of the provision of ANS from a monopoly towards an open market, capitalising on the lesson learned from other comparable industries (e.g. electricity industry, postal services, etc.).

Projects may propose new metrics and indicators capable of easily and comprehensively capturing and steering the performance of ATM operations. These metrics and indicators should beintegrated with the current performance indicators applying to the different stakeholders. They should propose as well  the tools, methods and procedures to collect and process the relevant data supporting the needs of national supervisory authorities and other stakeholders.

In particular, projects may explore promising new performance indicators for operational efficiency, based on aircraft operators’ needs. They should benchmark a fuel-efficient, on-time, predictable flight operation. The objective of such indicator would be to measure the actual situation versus an optimal goal, i.e. the deviation (the “delta”) between actual trajectories and the optimal trajectories. The optimal trajectory is the one defined by the airspace user and reflecting its business needs, taking into account a number of parameters: time constraints of the network, capabilities of the aircraft, weather and other parameters (ANS charges, etc.), and aiming at conducting the flight as cost-efficiently as possible. The deviation may be characterised with two indicators: Delta Fuel Burn of actual vs. optimum and Delta of block time actual vs. planned.

Also of interest would be research projects investigating the application to ATM of methods and best practices borrowed from other fields for the collection and aggregation of mixed qualitative and quantitative validation results. 

Expected Impacts: Research in this area should contribute to the improvement of the performance approach for RP3 onwards (2020) and show details of benefit delivery. It should also shed new insights in the performance mechanisms underpinning ATM, airports, and the improved interaction with the user community to improve prediction of need and use of scarce resources. The expected impact of the exploratory research projects is improved collaborative contributions to the European ATM Performance programme.