To achieve the expected outcomes, all or some of the following should be addressed.
- Increased flexibility in ATCO validations within an ATSU or between two ATSUs with similar consoles, tools and HMIs (typically, but not necessarily, from the same ANSP). Standardisation of ATCO procedures and more generic en-route controller procedures can reduce the amount of training required for en-route or TMA controllers to be endorsed and/or to stay current in a sector or group of sectors, thanks to new tools and/or procedures. The objective is to allow more flexible rostering within a centre or across ATSUs from the same ANSP thanks to the virtual centre concept (assuming that the ATSUs use similar consoles and tools). This also includes the development of smart sector grouping options, so that controllers can remain validated for the same number of sectors as today, but the number of different sector groups is increased, in order to increase the flexibility of rostering processes. It also includes innovative concepts for currency requirements based on recording additional data compared with today (e.g. traffic types, traffic levels) so that not all hours on console count the same or the total number of hours required for currency remain the same but requirements on a sector are loosened (e.g. by counting hours in a neighbouring sector with a certain weighting). This concept may help controllers to accept delegation of airspace as outlined in the airspace architecture study and as per the virtual centre solution. The objective is to complete TRL6 (PJ.10-W2-73 IFAV and PJ.33-W2-01).
- Increased flexibility in ATCO validations through night-only validations within an ATSU or between two ATSUs with similar console tools and HMIs (typically, but not necessarily, from the same ANSP). The validation of a controller to work in a sector at top capacity during the day requires detailed knowledge of airports, coordination procedures, traffic patterns and sector transfer conditions that are never applied during night shifts (because certain airports are closed, some sectors are always band-boxed and some traffic flows do not happen during the night). The objective of this activity is to develop a concept for night-only validation, aiming at reaching TRL6. This could, for example, be applied within a centre with multiple sector groups: a controller could be validated for day operations only for one sector group but could work nights in all sector groups, thus increasing flexibility in rostering. Another use case would be having a group of controllers specialising in night shifts only, and able to work in both their own ATSU and a second ATSU, thus allowing the two ATSUs to be consolidated during the night (PJ.10-W2-73 IFAV and PJ.33-W2-01).
- Collaborative management at regional airports. The airport operations centre concept was originally designed for large airports during previous SESAR phases and further developed through the total airport management project, based on a platform/operational structure that collaboratively and proactively manages airport operations performance. Although regional airports do not generally experience operational constraints at the same scale as larger airports, they do experience issues that result in their operations underperforming. A lack of communication and information shared among stakeholders can cause unforeseen deterioration in airport performance, with potential knock-on effects on the ATM network. This covers the development of a ‘Lite’ APOC, aimed at improving inbound, turnaround and outbound predictability based on an enhanced local collaborative environment and better connectivity with the ATM network. Airport and network information will thus be exchanged more reliably, resulting in improved situational awareness and supporting pre-tactical and tactical decision-making. The objective is to complete TRL6 (PJ.04-W2-28.2).
- Environmental performance management. Management of airport operations often necessitates trade-offs between different performance criteria (flight delay, passenger satisfaction, resource availability, etc.). The objective is to reach TRL6 for solutions focused on environmental performance management, with the aim of integrating environmental considerations into the overall airport operations management process, bringing the issue of environmental performance into the decision-making process (PJ.04-W2-29.3).