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Assessment of Performance in current ATM operations and of new Concepts of operations for its Holistic Enhancement

Periodic Reporting for period 4 - APACHE (Assessment of Performance in current ATM operations and of new Concepts of operations for its Holistic Enhancement)

Reporting period: 2017-11-09 to 2018-05-08

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.
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.  

Some of the proposed PIs showed the potential to complement the current Performance Framework. Future research need is to enable a more accurate and robust computation of “advanced” Performance Indicators, in order to better capture and infer preferences and operational practices of airspace users and air navigation service providers and to better isolate the contribution of the different stakeholders into the overall performance of the ATM system.
"WP2, ""Scope and definition of the concept of operations"" was the starting point of the project technical activities and defined the operational context that encompasses the evaluation studies that were carried out in the Project.

WP3 initially reviewed different performance frameworks 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. Then, new performance indicators (PIs) were proposed aiming at better capturing ATM performance.

WP4 was devoted to perform all software developments aiming to enhance previous background material from the different APACHE Consortium partners, and also to develop the ""Performance Analyser"" module, which implements all the PIs defined in WP3.

WP5 ""Simulations and assessment of results"". Five different scenarios, with different case studies each, were considered as validation exercises of the Project: one post-ops (baseline) scenario, where historical trajectories and airspace sectorisation have been analysed; and four pre-ops scenarios where realistic trajectories and sectorisations have been synthesised with the APACHE simulator. Besides the comparison and benchmarking among the previous scenarios, specific and tailored “a priori” case-studies have also been simulated for some pre-ops scenarios in order to assess performance trade-offs (Pareto-front) and interdependencies between KPAs.

WP6, ""Dissemination and exploitation"" including the organisation of two technical workshops for consultation with different stakeholders."
APACHE has performed a comprehensive review on performance indicators, comparing the performance frameworks proposed by ICAO, CANSO, the SES PRU and SESAR 2020 Performance Framework, and has identified over 150 indicators for performance monitoring and management in 11 different KPAs. New (or enhanced) performance indicators have also been proposed aiming at filling some of the gaps identified in state-of-the-art methodologies. The project has tried to cover all KPAs of the SESAR 2020 Performance Framework and new (or enhanced) indicators have been implemented for the following KPAs:

- Environment: proposing new distance- and fuel-based indicators suitable for pre-ops analysis (in line with current state-of-the-art indicators), but also for post-ops analysis and only requiring surveillance and realised weather data (a clear progress beyond the state of the art). A wide set of indicators have been proposed in this KPA, trying to capture the overall environmental impact of ATM operations, but also trying to isolate particular contributions for refined assessments, such as inefficiencies only in the vertical profile of the trajectory, inefficiencies only in the route, inefficiencies due to the strategic layer of the ATM, due to the tactical layer, etc.
- Cost-efficiency (Airspace User, AU): proposing new indicators considering inefficiencies in flight time and flight cost and, in line with the previous point, using only surveillance and weather input data and trying to isolate some components of the overall inefficiency figures.
- Cost-efficiency (Air Navigation Service Providers, ANSPs): proposing new approaches to estimate the cost of providing Air Traffic Services based on some characteristics defining airspace sectorisation.
- Safety: proposing new indicators based on the intensive simulation of aircraft trajectories, coupled with advanced collision risk models.
- Capacity: enhancing classical delay indicators, in line with SESAR trajectory-based operations paradigm, and taking into account arrival delay.
- Equity: proposing new indicators to capture cost penalties per Airspace User.
Flexibility: proposing new indicators in line with SESAR trajectory-based operations paradigm.

The project has opened the door to a more integrated and holistic methodology to assess ATM performance, enabling the following potential application use cases:
- support the validation exercises of certain SESAR solutions, providing i) a unified and homogeneous Framework to compute certain performance indicators on demand (via web services, for instance); ii) assessment of interdependencies between SESAR solutions; iii) intensive model-based simulations, allowing performance assessment, sensitivity and robustness analysis in several KPAs; and iv) the computation of optimal (under different constraints to assess different KPAs, focus areas or specific stakeholder needs) trajectories and/or sector opening schemes on demand (via web services, for instance).

- support the definition of the high-level performance ambitions for the European ATM master plan, or even contribute to SESAR validation target setting;

- recreate tailored simulations to test and validate the appropriateness of certain performance indicators or refine some of them; and

- benchmarking/complementation of different Performance Frameworks.