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Development of Functional Concepts from the EATMS Operational Requirements



Development of Functional Concepts from the EATMS Operational Requirements

Background & policy context: 

A future European Air Traffic Management system is envisaged to improve safety and efficiency, while in parallel, transport volume is increasing significantly. A functional architecture requirements analysis is an essential and mandatory step for the development of a future European ATM system. A process of deriving from the operational requirements the functional concepts, can be developed in its own right in a simultaneous action. The process of definition of future ATM is of iterative nature.


The main objectives of the FACTOR study are to develop a comprehensive and representative set of functional concepts from the EATMS operational requirements and, based on earlier projects, to define assessment criteria and to develop an assessment methodology for the functional concepts. The study is a fundamental building block for the development of operational ATM concepts.


The FACTOR methodology is based on a five stage iterative process which can be entered at any point depending upon the requirements of the assessment to be undertaken. The main elements are:

  • mapping of concepts into user requirements and the invariant process model respectively;
  • carrying out assessment on a concept by concept basis across all relevant invariant processes.

Two tasks complementary to FACTOR were also carried out in parallel under another project, FACTOR/CAT, funded by EUROCONTROL. These were the entry of a subset of the functional concepts into a database and the definition of the relationships between the functional concepts and the user requirements. This work was necessary to provide links between previous ETC work and the work of the FACTOR project, as well as providing a testing ground for the methodology.

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

The main results achieved by FACTOR are:


  • Extraction and categorisation of the set of FCs a comprehensive set of functional concepts has been produced, and FCs have been collated and categorised into a number of ATM domains, in order to support the production of an assessment methodology for the FCs.
  • Development of assessment criteria - a set of assessment criteria (in terms of feasibility and benefits) for FCs has been produced from an analysis of operational requirements. The criteria have been derived from the user requirements for EATMS and from a consideration of the assessment criteria that have been used in previous studies of ATM concepts.
  • Development of the assessment methodology - a methodology for assessing the quality of the different functional concepts has been developed, including the necessary metrics.
  • Testing of the methodology on the following concepts - dynamic allocation of airspace, air traffic control clearances, and application of constraints.

Policy implications

The work of FACTOR will contribute to the EATMS Concept Task Force, and Eurocontrol will use the FACTOR results for the development of the Operational Concept Document. For this purpose, the project methodology provides a means of determining the ability of a grouping of FCs to satisfy system requirements on the one hand (the solution space) and user and operational requirements on the other (the problem space).


Cambridge Consultants Ltd - Great Britain; Civil Aviation Authority - Great Britain; DFS Deutsche Fleugsicherung GmbH - Germany; Stishting Nationaal Lucht - en Ruimtevaarlaboratorium - Netherlands; Société Française d'Etudes et de Réalisations d'Equipements Aeronautiques - France.

Contact Name: 
Dr Elizabeth ORME
Contact Email: 
Cambridge Consultants Ltd
The Science Park, Milton Road,
Contact country:
+44 1223 420 024
Fax Number: 
+44 1223 423 373