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Objectives of the project

At present, the European Air Traffic Management (ATM) is evolving in a coordinated manner aiming at improving the overall efficiency of air navigation services across several key performance areas (KPAs). In this context, novel operational and technical concepts are proposed in the SESAR programme, and the evolution of these concepts is driven by the European ATM Master Plan through a set of EU-wide performance targets set with the help of the Single European Sky (SES) Performance Scheme, which establishes an agreed methodological framework for performance targeting, measuring, baselining and benchmarking in ATM. 

The APACHE project proposes a new framework to assess European air traffic management (ATM) performance based on simulation, optimisation and performance assessment tools that will be able to capture the complex interdependencies between key performance areas (KPAs) at different modelling scales (micro, meso and macro).

The main objective of the APACHE project is three-fold: 

  • to evolve the Performance Scheme towards new methodologies and metrics capable to estimate the performance drivers of air traffic management (ATM) and to foster a progressive performance-driven introduction of new operational and technical concepts in ATM and in line with SESAR goals;
  • to make an (initial) impact assessment of long-term ATM concepts with the new APACHE Performance Scheme, measuring the impact on ATM key performance areas (KPAs) under different assumptions and hypotheses in line with the SESAR Concept of Operations 2020+; and
  • to analyse the interdependencies between the different KPAs at the Pareto-front of the ATM performance, by finding the theoretical optimal limits for each KPA and assessing how the promotion of one KPA may actually reduce (and in which proportion) the performance of other KPAs.

Some of the long-term ATM concepts to be explored in line with some SESAR solutions include: free-routing and/or continuous cruise climbs (CCC) for airspace users; dynamic airspace configuration (DAC) for air navigation service providers (ANSPs); and dynamic demand and capacity balance (dDCB) for the Network Manager (NM). All these concepts will be analysed at EU-wide and/or functional airspace block (FAB) level combined under different scenarios and case studies (considering to some extent uncertainty in ATM), and to illustrate the advantages of APACHE framework in assessing ATM performance.