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PJ24 VLD Network Collaborative Management

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - PJ24 NCM (PJ24 VLD Network Collaborative Management)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2019-12-31

To many airspace users the current measures taken by the ANSP’s and the Network Manager (NM) to avoid congested hotspots - where the number of flights planned to pass through a particular airspace sector or airport is greater than the controller’s capability to handle them – can often appear unduly invasive to their finely-tuned flight schedules. Using filed flight plan and real-time update information the NM often has to delay the take-off times of many flights to avoid a predicted overload hours. But what if the NM could surgically target individual flights - a minor rerouting, an altitude cap for example – to prevent the development of congested hotpots minutes, rather than hours, before they are predicted to occur?
By applying short-term air traffic flow capacity management (ATFCM) measures (STAMs) flow managers and controllers can flexibly introduce traffic-overload prevention measures in response to the actual demand on the system. Via cooperation between flow managers, controllers, pilots and airport operators it is possible to target individual flights with a STAM measure - such as a minor ground delay, flight level cap, or minor re-routing - using locally preferred solutions, rather than applying a regulation to a group of flights some time in advance.
SESAR 1 trails have shown that STAM measures are an effective way to solve hotspots and reduce complexity problems. For airports, information on target times for arrival and departure, as well as taxiing and turnaround times captured with the airport operations centre, along with other measures, will be consolidated within the NM’s Network Operations system. More accurate data on flight punctuality will reduce the amount of flight planning “buffers” needed to cope with uncertain capacity loads, increasing airport capacity by up to 5.3%, reducing reactionary delays and saving airspace users up to 3% on their fuel bill.
The VLD Network Collaborative Management PJ24 project aims to demonstrate in a network collaborative environment the following objectives:
• optimization of the traffic delivery into sectors and airports.
• optimization of the use of Air Traffic Flow and Capacity Management (ATFCM) measures.
The demonstration scope is to prove that the performance targets and expectations at the network and local level could be better achieved through a collaborative synchronized effort of all the involved actors. An important part of improving the performance of network and airport operations is the effective and efficient planning of network (including ground) resources, by linking local optimization processes (including airport processes) with network optimization processes, taking into account stakeholders’ preferences where possible. This facilitates also the innovative usage and application of fine-tuned tailored measures (including target times) to further enhance performance and predictability.
PJ24 started 3 Grant Amendment processes, they were technical and financial amendments. Final GA was submitted to H2020 and uploaded on ECAS on the 03/12/2019.
PJ24 NCM produced the D1.1 PJ24 DEMO Plan, last version 01.02.07 it include the latest information regarding the different demonstration exercises including the changes during 38 months years of project. It included the participation of partners in each of the tasks to Use Cases demonstrated and the updated schedule of the different executions.
PJ24 Availability Note D1.3 was updated and re-delivered on the 12/11/2019. It includes remaining information the prototypes and platforms used in the 9 Exercises.
PJ24 Demonstration Report D1.2 (and D2.1 D3.1 D4.1 D5.1 D6.1 D7.1) was the main activity of the project from May to October 2019. Exercise Appendices were produced by Exercise teams and merged by PM Team in May, June and July. PM Team produced common sections during the summer and the first whole document was circulated in September. After a couple of rounds of revisions, it was finally uploaded to EC H2020 Portal on the 30/10/2019.
D1.12 D1.13 D1.14 and D1.15 Quarterly Progress Reports were delivered to H2020 and uploaded on ECAS.
The relationship with Airspace User consortium (ATEAM) for the SESAR 2020 VLD NCM was formalised during 2018 and 2019. ATEAM consortia participated actively in half of the project exercises and the production of the DEMO Report.
Three projects F2F meetings for PJ24 took place during the last year. Numerous discussions, webexes have been held to further detail the operational demonstrations and to prepare and execute the planned exercises under the PJ24 work packages.
Finally, 9 iterations of 8 different Exercises were executed in the last Period (9 Exercises and 16 Iterations in total); they were successfully driven by the partners:
• EXE 1
• EXE 2a Iteration 3
• EXE 2b
• EXE 2c
• EXE 3a
• EXE 3b
• EXE 5
• EXE 6
Main conclusions of the project:
• Cooperative approach of NCM involving all stakeholders is main contributor to reduce current network inefficiencies.
• Flight-specific Delay and Reroute measures contributed to significant reductions in delay and to improved operations coordination processes.
• Using airport arrival times in network operations (through TTA induced CTOTs) contributed to significant delay reductions compared to classical regulations.
• System-supported network coordination workflows (linking local and network tools) spectacularly improved efficiency of operational coordination processes.
• There is great potential to be able to improve network predictability, optimisation, reduce flight delays and fuel burn through more effective pre-tactical planning. However, currently predictive input data of NM systems is too inaccurate to produce a useful D-1 planning.
• Having the ability to regulate flows rather than traffic volumes led, in some areas, to the observation of significant benefits. Targeted flow measures are essentially a “happy medium” between global regulation and cherry pick regulation
Nine exercises over a large part of Europe with the collaboration of major European airlines, have demonstrated, for several weeks in the timeframe 2017-2019, network performance benefits and opportunities of improved cooperation techniques supported by connected local and network tools. Exercises included demonstrations of:
• Targeted flow and flight measures such as level-capping re-routings, flow and flights ground delays, slot improvements, slot exclusions,
• Target Time of Arrival measures to reduce arrival delay and optimize arrival sequences,
• Early exchange of departure planning information for predictability improvements,
• Sub-regional FMP coordination improvements including meteo coordination.
The cooperative approach between all stakeholders to reduce existing network inefficiencies was seen as the major success factor of demonstration exercises, leading to network performance benefits. NCM operational demonstrations successfully resulted in significant delay savings, significant positive impact on cost-efficiency due to better (system-supported) workflow processes, positive impact on predictability, with no impact on safety. Airspace Users concluded that NCM demonstrations benefits outweighed possible negative impact on airlines’ operational costs due to non-optimal flight routings.
PJ24 participants recommend operational implementation of successful demonstrated cooperative DCB functions, provided further optimisation of workflow processes.
PJ24 Geographical Scope