Research Workshop: Air Traffic Volatility and its impact on ATM Performance
On May 15-16 up to 130 academics and practitioners involved in air traffic management, airline and airport operations from all over Europe attended Research Workshop “Air Traffic Volatility and its impact on ATM Performance” held in Warsaw. The event was co-organized by Baltic FAB, FABEC, SGH Warsaw School of Economics and German Aviation Research Society (GARS).
The idea behind the workshop was to draw attention to volatility in air traffic which is becoming a key issue and a growing challenge within the aviation sector. Organisers wanted to bring together academics and professionals to share different perspectives and combine all the contributions in one place at one time.
The opening was conducted by officials from the SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and FABEC Board.
The workshop was divided into four panels: Volatility in ATM – myth or reality?, Volatility – a common issue within the aviation chain, Getting things concrete – Evidence, challenges and solutions and One step ahead – panel giving some indications for the future. Experts representing Universities and Research Centres from Serbia, Lithuania, Germany and Poland were participating in the discussion, as well as from Eurocontrol – PRU Unit, FABEC, ground handling, airlines, Network Manager, Baltic FAB, etc.
Thorough the discussion it was pointed out that potential negative impact of volatility in the aviation transport system on performance depends on close collaboration of operational stakeholders. The phenomenon shall be perceived as un-forecasted instabilities in the entire aviation chain, composed of:
*Airlines with their competitive struggles, operational limitations and mitigation measures,
*Air Traffic Management with long-term economic cycles, imposed targets and limited however necessary flexibility buffers,
*Airports and Ground Handlers with their multitude of customer-provider relations in changing decisive environment.
Along with limiting performance margins and tightening targets, instabilities in air traffic – both in intensity and traffic flows – are becoming troublesome, outstanding above thinner and thinner margins. Those unexpected cost and airspace capacity instabilities can be managed only through common efforts of the aviation transport chain. They are often related to underinvestment in staff and a capacity buffer expressed in staff-cost.
Short-term mitigations are applied across Europe, but in an uncoordinated way, whereas the long-term solution are necessary that would take into consideration principles, like the actual role of ATC, passenger objectives etc. Causal and statistical analysis is in progress in various points of Europe and it started showing the first effects but in-depth studies are unavoidable. Volatility phenomenon requires common understanding, undertaking joint efforts, enhancing communication and operational awareness of all the stakeholders, as well as developing an appropriate regulatory landscape.
The results of the two-day workshop shall be addressed in the revision of the charging and performance regulations and new performance targets that all are in preparation right now. This will be done through continued cooperation among the participants of the workshop.