Volatility in Air Traffic and its impact on ATM Performance workshop


The BLUE MED FAB attended the "Volatility in Air Traffic and its impact on ATM performance" research workshop, which took place in Warsaw (15-16 May 2018), organised by the Baltic FAB and FABEC in partnership with the SGH Warsaw School of Economics and the German Aviation Research Society (G.A.R.S.). 8 research documents were presented and 130 guests participated in the event.
The topic of volatility had been strongly raised on 6th March 2018 at the WAC InterFAB volatility panel, when Mr. Joe DeGiorgio (MATS) delivered a speech on behalf of the BLUE MED FAB. In such occasion, it was agreed that volatility is an important issue to air transport and the case studies presented demonstrated the complexity of the matter.
Some key findings of the ‘Volatility in Air Traffic and its impact on ATM Performance’ workshop are:

1. Traffic volatility is not a new phenomenon; however, it seems that the air traffic is becoming more and more volatile in the short, medium, and long-term.
2. ATM aims at balancing capacity provision and traffic demand.
3. Volatility as unpredicted change of traffic that influences the performance of ATM.
4. Volatility is a structural European issue with a high complexity and multidimensionality.
5. SESAR solutions challenge the volatility to some extent (e.g. dynamic airspace configurations - more predictability).
6. Flexibility is needed to avoid volatility.
7. More information regarding flight intentions is needed from airspace users.
8. Main sources of volatility were identified and discussed:
     • Geopolitics and macroscopic traffic shifts
     • Traffic forecast
     • Unit rates
     • Staffing
     • FUA and military activities
     • Aircraft operators (e.g. changes in the AUs flight plans)
     • Weather
     • Communication
     • ATFM.
9. Some short-term solutions were proposed, but there is a need to work on principle aspects of air traffic volatility like the role of ATC, objectives like passenger’s experience and interest, etc.
10. Only extensive involvement and close cooperation of all the ATM community stakeholders will make a key contribution to minimising the effects of traffic volatility and thus achieving the SES performance objectives, improving the system and resulting in benefits for passengers.
11. The workshop has shown that more discussion and in-depth analysis on air traffic volatility is required to find further solutions.

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