Expected outcomes and impact

The expected outcomes of the project are grouped into three main fields:

  • ISOBAR ConOps: Bundle composed by the ISOBAR ATFCM operational framework and the ISOBAR Performance framework.
  • ISOBAR AI Core: Bundle composed by the libraries and processes covering the generation of the convective weather forecast, datasets, the imbalance identification, demand fluctuation and imbalance mitigation.
  • ISOBAR B2B service: Bundle composed by the software products (requirements, interfaces and visualisation tools).

On average weather conditions accounts for roughly one third of ATM delays. In 2017 weather phenomena were the cause of 23.2% of ATFM en-route delay and 52.2% for Airport ATFM delay in the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) airspace. In 2018 EUROCONTROL Performance Review Report (PRR) reported 19 million of minutes for en-route ATFM delay, an increase of 104% versus 2017. Adverse weather caused 25%, contributing to 4.8 million minutes of delay (+124% vs 2017) with an estimated cost of €491m (according to PRR’17 calculation based on estimation of 100€ per minute of delay). American data reflects similar proportional figures: the FAA’s portal attributes around 13.5 million minutes of delays to weather.

Among the diverse weather causes responsible of these figures, convective weather is a leading one, accounting for almost half of weather-related delays in summer, e.g. of all en-route ATFM delays in 2018 78,9% were generated between May and September. In terms of network prediction and performance, addressing weather-related capacity issues will facilitate the system to cope with the expected demand under abnormal conditions.

Besides, analyzing the impact of weather forecasts on demand will contribute to take better-informed decisions in ATFCM. Examining only the top ten days with highest delays due to weather regulations from the first half of 2018, strong convective activity throughout Europe was the principal cause, with estimated cost due to airport and en-route delays reaching almost €130 million (roughly 10% of the weather delay in 2018 concentrated in only 10 days). Given these large cost figures, even minor improvement in prediction and performance of ATFM operations during significant convective weather events will yield to substantial yearly savings for the ATM system.

Moreover, the project results will serve as a basis to:

  • EU Academic Community: promote the research on data extraction and transformation from relevant domains external to ATM in support of ATFCM, by publishing papers on methodological approaches tailored to network management needs.
  • SESAR JU and SESAR Community: reach out to SESAR stakeholders to allow them to use and take up the exploitable outcomes maximizing the impact of Exploratory Research.
  • Air Navigation Service Providers: engage ANSP operational people to maximize the likelihood of the adoption of the solutions in the industrial phase of the research.
  • Network Manager: promote solution benefits and potential applications to the Network Management stakeholders at large using NM fora and communication channels.
  • Airspace Users: promote the deployment of ML related solutions for obtaining more predictive and stable re-routing solutions taking into account both AUs objectives and network constraints.
  • ATM System Manufacturer: propose requirements for future implementation in ATM systems, fully integrated or as additional bricks and ease the manufacturing from development to deployment.
  • Meteo agencies: promote the research on convection forecast for ATFCM by publishing articles on new convection indicators.