April launch for Safety/Capacity Enhancement Measures

ACC Vienna

From April 27 this year airlines and other airspace users will benefit from safer and more on-time performance as a result of the introduction of short term air traffic flow capacity management measures (STAM) throughout FAB CE airspace.

“We expect improvements in safety and capacity,” said Ralph Michalke, ATM/Performance Manager FMP-AMC Austria at Austro Control and one of the members of the project. “Safety – in terms of fewer overloads for controllers and capacity in terms of helping us reduce the delay and the number of regulations during short-term traffic peaks.”

FAB CE FMP (Flow Management Position) operators can flexibly introduce traffic-overload prevention measures in response to the actual demand on the system by targeting individual flights with a STAM– through the use of level-capping for aircraft already airborne or introducing “take-off not before” (TONB) actions at airports. In this way, locally preferred solutions to local traffic overload challenges can be applied rather than having to resort to large-scale regulations which impact many flights.

FABCE FMPs also aim to improve the FMP coordination within the FAB to optimize STAM. The necessary coordination procedures are part of the letters of agreement of the FABCE ACCs as from 27 April 2017.

Considerable work has been taken to introduce STAMs across the FAB CE network. A live trial took place in September 2015 which was preceded by a generic safety assessment for the entire FAB. After successful completion of the live trial a decision to implement the measures across the FAB was taken. Each air navigation service provider (ANSP) additionally prepared a safety assessment for introducing STAMs at the local level for both the live trial and the implementation. Guidance and briefing materials have been prepared for flow management positions, supervisors and controllers.

Airspace users are informed of the changes via AIM (ATFCM information messages) provided via the Eurocontrol NOP portal. At a local level ANSPs can inform the airspace users via AIC or NOTAM.

This is the first phase of the STAM roll-out, based on existing tools. The Operations Subcommittee in September 2016 agreed to develop a roadmap for a future FAB CE wide implementation of STAMs as part of work to improving Airspace Management (ASM) processes and Dynamic Airspace Management (DAM) (See FAB CE Newsletter: Autumn 2016). STAM phase two will require the availability of new tools which will allow for better monitoring and complexity handling. These tools are currently under developing within the SESAR JU research portfolio; the strategic deployment of STAMs throughout the Single European Sky is part of the Single European Sky (SES) Deployment Programme.