The predicted growth in air traffic calls for more efficient use of
existing capacity in the air transport system. This is a key goal of the
European Air Traffic Management (ATM) system. However, there wasn’t a wide
consensus within the ATM community on which future concepts, functions and
systems could best improve air transport capacity, efficiency and safety.
To speed up the definition and the introduction of the next generation
European ATM system, the key ATM players had to develop a more detailed
common understanding of issues and solutions, a definition of common
requirements and a joint commitment to development plans for validation
The AVENUE project aimed to build the basis of the validation platform of the future European Air Traffic Management System (EATMS), starting from previously validated inputs from the Commission, Eurocontrol and national research projects throughout Europe. In particular, the main objectives of the project were:
- The provision of the system architecture of a validation platform capable of supporting the large-scale demonstration and validation initiatives of the EATMS;
- The development of the first instance of that platform to test its architecture and allow early validation exercises;
- To obtain a wide consensus in the architecture definition and platform development within the ATM Community.
The AVENUE project has produced, with the consensus of the Air Traffic
Control (ATC) key players, a set of Application Programming Interfaces
(APIs) and an ATC data dictionary. The project has proved the correctness
of an open architecture for validation platforms with a first instance
which was built with more than twelve existing ATM components provided by
key European ATC players. The technical exercise has successfully
demonstrated the capability of the developed facility.
No validation of any individual concept or system has been carried out by
the project. Instead, the project demonstrated that the developed
architecture works fine, the adaptation of different components is
feasible and the platform instance is suitable for early validation
Besides validation services, the developed platform is able to integrate
any representative ATM components, being it an open, flexible and modular
“environment” which enables evolution, integration, interoperability and
growth. An agreed set of “de facto” system standards has been reached
which permits the exchange of components at a software level and direct
comparisons of results.
From the experience of the AVENUE project it is clear that short-term
efficiency can be sacrificed if the aim of the project is to involve all
the key players in a specific field in order to obtain consistent and
shared results. Wide consensus needs time and efforts.
The agreed API set and ATC data dictionary can be at the basis of large
scale real-time validation activities in the future. Even if the API set
of the project can be considered as a “de facto” standard for validation
platforms, its correctness for operational system must still be
Future research projects will still have to do a significant step: from
the architecture of validation platforms to the architecture of the
operational systems. The AVENUE activities will be followed up in the Gate
to Gate project of the Fifth Framework Programme which is using the AVENUE
architecture to integrate and perform test trials of the candidate ATM
components, Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) enablers and
operational procedures. The final goal is to make recommendations for
standardisation and implementation of an operational platform for a
European ATM in the medium term.