A transition strategy is needed to enable the evolutionary development of the European ATM (Air Traffic Management) system from the current EATCHIP (European Air Traffic Control Harmonisation and Integration Programme) Phase III, to the future European ATM system (EATMS). Since the concepts and design of the future ATM system are still evolving, there is scope for providing a framework whereby transition strategies can be outlined relatively easily. This would include bringing together the constraints and proposed options for transition that currently exist.
The main objective of ESTEEM was to produce a methodology for the production of transition strategies and to show this methodology working in practice, thus providing planners with the tools to draw up transition strategies throughout the transition towards the EATMS. A secondary objective was to initiate the transition process to the EATMS using the methodology, and by suggesting transition steps, to initiate debate as to whether the steps are viable.
The ESTEEM project has developed a methodology, which provides a flexible process for defining parts of a transition strategy in isolation and then bringing these together to form larger strategies. The project has defined the set of concepts required to define and discuss a strategy, and identified the actions and subsequent plan for a transition. The transition action database that has been produced is a helpful tool to manage the concepts and trace the process by which a strategy is developed.
The following issues were highlighted as worthy of further examination by the European Commission:
- the experience of the EATCHIP convergence and implementation programme should guide the work of investigating how the strategies are stored, disseminated and co-ordinated between the member states, with the aim of building large transition strategies;
- the choice whether to resolve political issues before the start of any technical planning needs to be made as part of the transition strategy;
- development of further tools such as influence diagrams are recommended, since they can help to give the planners confidence that they are working in a standardised manner and that external measures of completeness for the strategies exist.
ESTEEM recommended the extension of the concepts for developing transition strategies, to include as many actors as possible in their definition, and to make the set available to the widest possible audience for review.
The transition to the EATMS is a critical dynamic process. The ESTEEM project has provided the beginning of the planning for this transition.
The main routes of exploitation are the development of the EATMS and the ATM Strategy for 2000+ by Eurocontrol. With a formal process such as the ESTEEM methodology, there can be a high level of confidence that any strategy has covered the breadth of issues. Therefore, the methodology is seen as having potential benefits in deriving the strategy and ensuring the coverage.
The set of strategic actions produced by the project can be incorporated into the derivation of transition strategies. One step forward would be to extend this set to cover non-technical actions, i.e. the political and institutional changes that would parallel the technical activity within an integrated transition strategy.