Flight Centric ATC – an advanced concept for the en-route environment


The demand for air travel continues to grow steadily. With the removal of the Covid-19 restrictions in the European travel sector, Europe is once again experiencing a sig-nificant increase in air traffic. Forecasts predict a return to pre-crisis levels by 2025 at the latest. This means that the aviation industry is once again facing the well-known airspace bottlenecks and a corresponding increase in airspace efficiency is essential. At the same time, environmental sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the transport sector. Within the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Pro-gramme, this aspect represents one of the main pillars. Complementing innovative concepts for improved approach and departure procedures, new types of controller support tools or airport procedures aiming to minimize the impact of air traffic on the environment, the Flight Centric Air Traffic Control (FCA) concept introduces the idea of fundamentally restructuring the established sector-based air traffic control in the upper European airspace to adapt to today’s needs. The concept not only closes the gap between environmentally friendly ground, approach and departure procedures, but also profitably integrates air traffic controller support tools designed for the upper airspace. Through this, the concept enables a reduction in the total fuel required per flight and consequently decreases the emission of environmentally harmful CO2.

This session will present the current status of research of Flight Centric ATC. The benefits and initial indications of the costs will be shown to the stakeholders. In addition, an outlook will be given on what is planned in the future to bring this concept to industrial research maturity.