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Analysis and Definition of Operational Requirements for ATM



Analysis and Definition of Operational Requirements for ATM

Background & policy context: 

The European Air Traffic Management Systems (EATMS) can be considered as a system of inter-dependent systems. Its purpose is to provide a safe, expeditious and orderly flow of air traffic, accommodating traffic demand, that is cost-effective, operates on the basis of uniform principles, satisfies national security requirements and is environmentally acceptable. Thus in view of the rapid growth in demand for air travel, the EATMS requires radical innovation and development.


The purpose of ADORA was to compare the users requirements for the EATMS, as defined by Eurocontrol in 1994, with the potential system implementation concepts. The aim was to quantify and assess the degree of adequacy between what the users are expecting and what could be foreseen at that stage for the future system.

Institution Type:
Institution Name: 
European Commission; Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN; formerly DG VII)
Type of funding:
Key Results: 

The project identified high level system requirements from the Operational Concept Document (OCD), which represented at that time, the reference in terms of the EATMS definition, and compared them with the users requirements for a total of more than 25,000 evaluations.

The comparison provided results for each of the eight area groups of the OCD:

  • two areas had more than 50% of users requirements and covered: airspace organisation and management, information management;
  • two areas had from 50 to 20% of users requirements and covered: aircraft operations, airport operations;
  • four areas had less than 20% of users requirements and covered: flow and capacity management, sequence optimisation and management, separation assurance, and external agencies operations.

The project provided a wide set of recommendations for further improvements in the areas where gaps had been found. These included:

  • gate-to-gate Air Traffic Management (ATM);
  • co-operative ATM;
  • search and rescue needs;
  • contingency plans;
  • ground-ground communication;
  • terminal area;
  • resilience to service disruption;
  • flexible operations of aircraft with different capabilities;
  • surface movement management.

A general recommendation was that the ATM should be flexible in order to assist the airspace users, and designed and operated to provide options for the users, to allow them to be the decision-makers.

Policy implications

The set of recommendations represents the main output of the ADORA project. They will help to improve actual EATMS protocols by highlighting the gaps with respect to the users requirements. The large database developed has been provided to the EC and Eurocontrol to contribute to the overall development of the EATMS, in particular within the EATCHIP (European Air Traffic Management Harmonisation and Integration Programme). After the completion of the ADORA research in 1999, Eurocontrol issued a new Operational Concept Document for the EATMS to realise the overall objectives set out in 1998 in the ATM Strategy for 2000+.



Contact Name: 
Mr Francis Winisdoerffer
Route de Verneuil, 66 PO Box 2
Les Mureaux
Contact country: