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Advanced User-centric efficiency metRics for air traffic perfORmance Analytics

Periodic Reporting for period 4 - AURORA (Advanced User-centric efficiency metRics for air traffic perfORmance Analytics)

Reporting period: 2017-10-01 to 2018-03-31

AURORA is a research project funded by the SESAR Joint Undertaking within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. AURORA has addressed the gaps of the flight efficiency indicator which is used today to evaluate the performance of the European ATM system. The current standard indicator is “horizontal flight efficiency”, which measures the horizontal excess en-route distance compared to the geodesic distance. This view of efficiency is very limited since it does not take into account other sources of inefficiencies, namely meteorological conditions and the vertical profile of the flight, and it does not address key aspects for Airspace Users (AUs)’ business strategies such as fuel consumption or costs.
AURORA has defined advanced user-centric indicators addressing the most relevant factors impacting flight efficiency, as well as equity indicators to measure how fairly the inefficiencies are distributed among AUs. AURORA has also designed methodologies to compute these indicators by means of the generation of user-preferred trajectories such as fuel- and cost-optimal trajectories. These methodologies allow obtaining the overall efficiency of a flight from origin to destination and also calculating efficiency in the context of the portion of the flight managed by a single Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP). In addition, AURORA has tested a service-oriented architecture that enables the calculation of the new indicators based on historical air traffic-related data, as well as a stream-based data model that allows calculating the indicators in real time by means of techniques borrowed from the data science and information management fields.
The set of proposed services for the computation of advanced user-centric efficiency and equity indicators has been identified as a relevant enabler that allows obtaining indicators based on historical surveillance, flight plan and weather data and without the need of confidential information from the Airspace Users.
Additionally, the approach to the on-line monitoring of efficiency indicators was recognized as a mean of providing relevant information for the improvement of the ATM decision-making processes encapsulating Airspace Users’ viewpoint on flight efficiency.
The AURORA consortium is formed by Centro de Referencia I+D+i ATM (CRIDA), Boeing Research and Technology Europe (BR&TE), Centre for Applied Data Analytics Research (CeADAR) and Flight Radar 24 (FR24) with the support of Iberia, Air Europa, KLM, Turkish Airlines and Novair as members of the AURORA’s Airspace Users Group.
AURORA assessed the state-of-the-art of current performance indicators to measure flight efficiency (i.e. “horizontal flight efficiency”). Based on this state-of-the-art, a gap analysis was performed in coordination with the AURORA’s Airspace Users Group. This was the starting point for the definition of enhanced efficiency and equity indicators and the associated methodologies to obtain them based on the design of user-preferred trajectories. This methodologies were implemented through a service-oriented architecture that allows the remote computation of user-preferred trajectories when inserting air traffic related data.
AURORA has proved that the methodologies and service-oriented architecture are technically feasible. The experiments, considering all traffic departing and arriving at the ECAC area in several days of operation, have also shown that the proposed indicators can better capture the different sources of inefficiencies. Additionally, AURORA’s Airspace Users Group has assessed the representativeness and understanding of the indicators and results.
Additionally, AURORA has developed a methodology for the calculation of efficiency indicators in real time. This methodology was implemented in a stream-based data model that uses Big Data (BD) techniques for the collection and aggregation of data. AURORA has proved the feasibility and performance (latency and throughput) of its model to obtain instantaneous efficiency indicators. AURORA has also shown the operational benefits of implementing this real-time monitoring of advanced user-centric efficiency indicators in the ATM decision-making processes, in particular in the processes for the selection of those flights which are more suitable for the application of Short-Term Air ‘Traffic Flow & Capacity Management’ Measures (STAM).
AURORA has proven the feasibility and benefits of user-centric efficiency and equity indicators, enabling the following potential application use cases:
1.- Improvements to the European ATM performance monitoring by addressing existing gaps such as the quantification of inefficiencies in the vertical profile or the consideration of weather conditions;
2.- Support to the identification of ECAC and local efficiency targets that are better aligned with AUs’ interests;
3.- Support to the future ATM research initiatives thanks to a service-oriented approach to the indicators. This approach ensures consistency in the measurement of the new indicators across local experiments and without the need of extra effort for replicating the computation of indicators;
4.- Design of a new framework for ATM decision-making based on the real-time performance monitoring of advanced user-centric efficiency indicators. In this new framework, the ATM decision-making processes will be supported by live indicators of actual operational performance and realistic achievable targets;
5.- Service-oriented tools for the AUs to remotely access and test their own performance. Strategically this will increase their confidence on the proposed ATM targets. In the tactical phase, the dynamic calculation of indicators makes them available to AUs while flights are live.
indicator that compares the fuel consumption of optimal actual vs optimal fuel-based trajectory
indicator that compares the total costs of optimal actual vs optimal cost-based trajectory