Extended Arrival Management (E-AMAN): A SESAR Solution To Improve Efficiency
Airspace Users and Air Traffic Control benefit from Early Delay Absorption
As the demand for global travel and commerce drives the demand for air traffic, the infrastructure supporting this demand has to evolve to keep pace while ensuring safe, efficient and environmentally sustainable operations.
The SESAR Extended Arrival Management (E-AMAN) concept allows air traffic controllers to meter traffic into a busy Terminal Movement Area (TMA) from far out in the en-route airspace. This is feasible by extending the AMAN’s operational horizon from the airspace close to the airport to a horizon further upstream, in adjacent en-route airspace. Typically, an E-AMAN solution is implemented using a SWIM-compliant information exchange infrastructure that delivers AMAN output information (e.g., target times, time to lose/time to gain advisories) to controllers upstream.
With an E-AMAN implemented, en-route controllers can then inform aircraft pilots to adjust their speed before their Top of Descent, thus reducing the amount of time the aircraft spends in the TMA. This leads to a reduction of time spent in holding stacks in the destination TMA. E-AMAN is a SESAR Solution which has been selected by the European Commission to be part of the Pilot Common Project (PCP) 1. This regulation mandates E-AMAN shall be operated at 25 European Airports as from 1st January 2024 (REGULATION (EU) No 716/2014).
Extended AMAN is also featured in the Aviation System Block Upgrade (ASBU) (B1-RSEQ: Improved Airport operations through Departure, Surface and Arrival Management), which is the Air Traffic Management (ATM) modernization strategy introduced by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
- Extended Arrival Management (E-AMAN) refers to preparing further in advance the sequencing of air traffic destined for a particular airport.
- The solution extends the arrival management coordination beyond the TMA to neighbouring en-route airspace. This allows controllers upstream to give early instructions to pilots to adjust their speed before initiating descent towards the destination airport.
E-AMAN - Maximizes Terminal Area Capacity
In 2013, Harris Orthogon enhanced their existing ORTHOGON Arrival Manager to support the Extended Arrival Management (E-AMAN) concept in line with SESAR and deployed it in the busy London TMA together with NATS as customer. This was the world’s first Extended-Arrival Management (E-AMAN) system that spanned multiple partners, neighboring ANSPs and sequenced air traffic across multiple national borders. In the context of this specific initiative of members of the UK/Ireland Functional Airspace Block (FAB) and Functional Airspace Block Europe Central (FABEC), this effort is referred to as Cross-Border Arrival Management (XMAN).
The E-AMAN concept has proven to deliver immediate and significant operational benefits. Harris’ ORTHOGON Arrival Manager specifically helps to absorb delay at more fuel-efficient altitudes, over longer flight distances. Between April 2014 and January 2015, NATS recorded a reduction of holding-stack times by up to a minute per for London Heathrow inbound flights, saving airlines around €2.28m in fuel and 8,000t of CO2 (NATS News Release, December 10th 2015). Additionally, the communities underneath the stacks are benefiting from reduced noise levels.
- Improved Efficiency and Environmental Sustainability: Early delay absorption provides massive fuel savings for airlines and accordingly leads to reduced emissions
- Increased capacity in the Terminal Movement Area enabled by longer term optimized sequencing of arrival flights
- Improved TMA Management: Extending the AMAN planning horizon to the en-route environment enables better TMA planning and management
- Improved predictability and stability of arriving aircraft sequences resulting in reduction in holding stacks and delays
- Reduced controller workload due to lower requirement for voice communication in busy Terminal Movement Areas
- Interoperability with open standards: open web based Service Oriented Architecture allows for reduced development cost and time, and potential for new services
“Harris’ Arrival Manager is another step on the path for NATS to improve efficiency and cut fuel burn and emissions. This tool will be invaluable to controllers in charge of some of the most complex airspace in the world.”