Optimised fuel burn, emissions and flight profiles by freely planned routes and continuous descent approaches.
Due to the growth in air traffic throughout the world, more and more conflicts and delays occur in departure and arrival procedures. As a solution to these challenging situations, the Concept of Seamless Operations (CSO) consists of two key elements: Free Route Airspace (FRA) and Continuous Descent Operations (CDO).
The regular changes in air traffic demand ANSPs to stay flexible and adapt their procedures as necessary since optimal and effective procedures are essential for successful operations.
The growth in air traffic brings more and more conflicts at the intersections of routes, departure and arrival procedures. Solving these situations increases the workload on the air traffic controllers thus reducing their capacity to deal with efficiency.
Due to these factors flight profiles are getting farther and farther away from ideal and delays are building up both on the ground and in the air. Chasing efficiency while applying dated procedures may easily lead to critical situations.
Providers have to meet new requirements such as reduction of fuel consumption, mitigation of emission and improved noise abatement. At the same time safety and the regularity and efficiency of air traffic have also to be maintained.
The Concept of Seamless Operations (CSO) is comprised of two elements: Free Route Airspace (FRA) and Continuous Descent Operations (CDO).
Free Route Airspace Operations optimise fuel burn, flight time and emissions by reducing mileage since users may freely plan their routes within a given airspace between defined entry and exit points.
Continuous Descent Operations reduce emissions by saving fuel as they allow aircraft to descend from high altitudes to airports at minimum thrust setting and also through shorter flight tracks.
The preparation includes measuring the traffic demand, assessment of the adherent route network, navigational facilities, ATM system, and the survey of the local aptitudes and geographical peculiarities.
New versions of routes and terminal procedures that are as close to the theoretic optimum as possible are designed according to these attributes.
are used to test the different versions. We record all relevant parameters, such as total and specific numbers for distance and time travelled, fuel burnt, noise strain, entry rate and occupancy of different airspace sections, air and ground delays, utilisation of available capacities, number of conflicts. Customised statistics can also be created; even controllers’ workload factors can be estimated through Artificial Intelligence.
Selected scenarios will be validated by means of a Real-Time Simulation with the contribution of air traffic controllers proficient in the given airspace on our state-of-the-art simulation platform that reproduces the HMI of their “home” ATM system.
The results of this validation will be drawn from the same set of parameters that are recorded during the simulation together with specific “Human-in-the-Loop” parameters such as objective data for number and length of radio and telephone calls, number of co-ordination events, number of medium and short term conflict alerts, number of specific instructions performed through the HMI (direct clearance, turn, speed and level change, etc.).
Also subjective workload assessment (ISA) data is gathered as well as subjective reflection on safety issues, hotspots, procedures, workload and situational awareness through questionnaires (NASA-TLX, SASHA-Q).
The simulation environment prepared for the validation can be utilised later on for the training of air traffic control personnel.
Following the implementation of the solution the real change of the relevant parameters can be evaluated from real-life recorded data through Fast-Time Simulation and the solution can be fine-tuned as necessary.