FASTI’s legacy in supporting ATC performance assessment tools

Posted: 7 June 2012 | EUROCONTROL | No comments yet

As a wrap-up for its final phase, FASTI has delivered a set of specifications and guidelines, known as the FASTI OPA…


As a wrap-up for its final phase, FASTI has delivered a set of specifications and guidelines, known as the FASTI Operational Performance Assessment (OPA). The aim: to provide the community with a generic methodology and software support that can be adapted to different airspace environments.

The First ATC Support Tools Implementation (FASTI) programme came to an end in April 2012. This EUROCONTROL programme, launched in 2005, supported the development and implementation of controller support tools at control centres across Europe.

The early management of aircraft’s trajectories can facilitate a better distribution of controllers’ workload when there are constraints. Controller tools, mainly Conflict Detection Tools (CDTs), help improve this critical aspect of European network operations.

FASTI tools include these software tools:

  • automated conflict detection between aircraft
  • conformance monitoring aids including trajectory updates and route deviation alerts
  • electronic support to coordination and transferring traffic between different control centres.

FASTI tools help deliver operational improvements, in line with Single European Sky (SES) and SESAR concepts. They have a direct, positive impact on the network in these areas:

  • traffic growth
  • costs reduction
  • customer service improvement
  • environmental impact reduction.

Adaptable guidelines and methodology

The design and implementation of tools, such as the Conflict Detection Tool (CDT), is a complex and lengthy process. The FASTI Programme concluded by providing the community with a comprehensive set of supporting documentation and guidelines for the development and implementation of controller support tools.

The methodology includes an operational performance assessment and an analysis tool to measure CDTs’ performance and accuracy as well as associated trajectory prediction. It also addresses a broad range of aspects related to operational definition, performance, validation and implementation monitoring.

It focuses on those aspects of the system that impact on the usability and performance of CDTs under nominal operation. Combined with the Trajectory Prediction Analysis Tool (TPAT), the OPA provides a complete package for ANSPs and system providers to develop and adjust CDTs’ performance to their local environment, helping them to meet the expected performance levels.

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) was closely involved in the work and set up performance measurement within the new COOPANS system which became operational at the Shannon and Dublin centres at the beginning of 2011.

Feedback from ANSPs

Some 36 Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and their system suppliers participated closely in the programme’s activities. Several ANSPs provided positive feedback in the field of capacity, safety and flight efficiency:

  • Skyguide reported a 25% increase in declared capacity, mainly thanks to the deployment of conflict detection tools (CDTs) in an electronic stripless environment
  • NATS reported capacity increase ranging from 12% to 20%, following the deployment of the interim Future Area Control Tool Support (iFACTS)
  • DFS in Karlsruhe reported a 10% capacity increase following the deployment of the new VAFORIT system for Karlsruhe ACC.

At the last workshop (held in November 201, Geneva) Chris Brain, former FASTI Programme Manager, pointed out: “These tools can play a major role in increasing capacity, reducing workload and improving efficiency. We always thought conflict detection would work well with Single Sky concepts, and now we have good evidence for this.”

Next steps

FASTI tools’ deployment is still ongoing in centres across Europe. Based on the lessons learned and newly-acquired expertise, the Network Manager will continue to provide support in the areas of network performance enhancement through controller support tools’ implementation.

For more information, you can contact Bogdan Petricel, ATC senior expert

Useful link

The FASTI dossier will give you access to:

  • a complete set of FASTI Programme deliverables
  • information regarding the OPA methodology and TPAT analysis tool
  • FASTI tools deployment status
  • support for FASTI tools implementation

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