As it is defined in ATM 2000+ Strategy (Eurocontrol 2001), the mission of the Air Traffic Management (ATM) System is: “For all the phases of a flight, the ATM system should facilitate a safe, efficient, and expedite traffic flow, through the provision of adaptable ATM services that can be dimensioned in relation to the requirements of all the users and areas of the European air space. The ATM services should comply with the demand, be compatible, operate under uniform principles, respect the environment and satisfy the national security requirements.” The objective of this paper is to present a methodology designed to evaluate the status of the ATM system in terms of the relationship between the offered capacity and traffic demand, identifying weakness areas and proposing solutions. The first part of the methodology relates to the characterization and evaluation of the current system, while a second part proposes an approach to analyze the possible development limit. As part of the work, general criteria are established to define the framework in which the analysis and diagnostic methodology presented is placed. They are: the use of Air Traffic Control (ATC) sectors as analysis unit, the presence of network effects, the tactical focus, the relative character of the analysis, objectivity and a high level assessment that allows assumptions on the human and Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) elements, considered as the typical high density air traffic resources. The steps followed by the methodology start with the definition of indicators and metrics, like the nominal criticality or the nominal efficiency of a sector; scenario characterization where the necessary data is collected; network effects analysis to study the relations among the constitutive elements of the ATC system; diagnostic by means of the “System Status Diagram”; analytical study of the ATC system development limit; and finally, formulation of conclusions and proposal for improvement. 2 This methodology was employed by Aena (Spanish Airports Manager and Air Navigation Service Provider) and INECO (Spanish Transport Engineering Company) in the analysis of the Spanish ATM System in the frame of the Spanish airspace capacity sustainability program, although it could be applied elsewhere.


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