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Co-operative Approach to Air Traffic Services


A paradigm shift in the way air traffic services are provided is required to achieve the implementation of the Single European Sky. To support this, research will integrate collaborative decision-making into a co-operative air and ground Air Traffic Management (ATM) end-to-end concept, validated in a complete ATM and Airport environment, whilst encouraging innovative research into a new paradigm supporting a more efficient Air Transport system. Some tasks are common across the different work areas, for example safety, human factors and validation, and there is a need to work towards a harmonised approach to these tasks. A Coordination Action will ensure that the management and dissemination of knowledge stemming from these common tasks obtains comparable results and avoids duplication of work across the following work areas:

  • Co-operative ATM
  • Advanced airborne system applications
  • Reduced separation minima
  • Airport efficiency
  • Advanced approach and landing concepts
  • Innovative ATM research.

Project objectives

The CAATS project aims to improve the coordination and support between Framework Programme 6 (FP6) projects in order to avoid disruptive and expensive overlapping. Knowledge will be gathered in these areas through close liaison with FP6 and Eurocontrol ATM-related projects in the areas of Safety, Human Factors and Validation. CAATS will further expand and refine the knowledge produced by the projects in the mentioned areas (avoiding overlapping and gaps). Knowledge will be consolidated by a small team of experts in the field and, based on all the information obtained in CAATS, best practice manuals will be produced. CAATS will also ensure that the new knowledge is made available to the ATM community through an active dissemination activity.

Overview of the CAATS work plan. This Coordination Action aims to consolidatethe knowledge obtained from FP6 projects on ATM Safety, Human Factors and Validationand to produce ‘Best Practice’ guides in these areas.
Overview of the CAATS work plan. This Coordination Action aims to consolidatethe knowledge obtained from FP6 projects on ATM Safety, Human Factors and Validationand to produce ‘Best Practice’ guides in these areas.

Description of the work

Specialised teams are performing tasks in three dedicated sub-Work Packages, and there is one team for each CAATS domain of interest: a Safety Team, a Human Factors Team and a Validation Team. The work is coordinated into an overall approach, consisting of the following:

  • Knowledge audit, including knowledge from both within and beyond the actual FP6 and Eurocontrol projects.
  • Gap analysis and filling, consisting of a review of the knowledge gathered, identification of any gaps in this knowledge, analysis of the information needed and identification of the best sources to fill these gaps.
  • Identification of best practices based on all the knowledge obtained.
  • Evolution and maintenance of best practices, informing users of any modifications.
  • Preparation and dissemination of best practices to the ATM community and any other interested parties, through a newsletter, website, dissemination forums and any other suitable means.
  • Coordination of a feedback process actively soliciting feedback in the course of dissemination activities, processing this feedback and making recommendations based on the feedback to improve best practices.
  • Support to users as requested.

In addition to adopting this overall approach, each CAATS Team will maintain the flexibility to incorporate the specialised expertise of its individual members in each domain into the work to be accomplished.

Expected results

The expected result from the CAATS project is the production of the ‘Best Practice Manuals’ in the areas of Safety, Human Factors and Validation, based on gathered knowledge and the consolidation and evolution of this knowledge in close interaction with relevant FP6 projects. It is expected that projects, particularly new ones, will gradually arrive at a common approach in the mentioned areas. A wide dissemination of the knowledge will take place through Targeted Training Sessions (specific technical support), Dissemination Forums (to spread the knowledge and best practices), the project website and other suitable means.