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Air traffic flow management

This regulation sets out the requirements for air traffic flow management and supplements the 2004 legislative package on air traffic management aimed at the creation of a single European sky. This regulation aims to optimise the available capacity of the European air traffic management network and enhance the air traffic flow management processes through the uniform application of specific rules and procedures within the airspace of the single European sky.

ACT

Commission Regulation (EU) No 255/2010 of 25 March 2010 laying down common rules on air traffic flow management.

SUMMARY

This regulation applies within the airspace of the single European sky as laid out in Regulation No 551/2004 and affects:

  • all flights intended to operate or operating as general air traffic and in accordance with the instrument flight rules;
  • air traffic management.

This regulation applies to the following parties involved in air traffic flow management (ATFM) processes:

  • operators of aircraft;
  • air traffic service units;
  • aeronautical information services;
  • entities involved in airspace management;
  • airport managing bodies;
  • central unit for ATFM;
  • local ATFM units;
  • slot coordinators of coordinated airports.

The planning, coordination and execution of the ATFM measures * undertaken by the above-mentioned parties must be in accordance with the provisions laid out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

General obligations of European Union (EU) countries

EU countries must ensure that the ATFM function is constantly available to the above list of parties involved in the ATFM processes. EU countries must also ensure that the definition and implementation of ATFM measures complies with national security and defence requirements of individual EU countries.

General obligations of ATS units

When applying an ATFM measure, ATS units must coordinate through the local ATFM unit with the central unit for ATFM to ensure that the measure is selected with regard to the optimisation of the overall performance effects on the EATMN.

ATS units must inform the central unit for ATFM of all events that may affect air traffic control capacity or air traffic demand. ATS units must also provide the central unit for ATFM with various information and subsequent updates, including:

  • availability of airspace and route structures;
  • air traffic control sector and airport capacities;
  • route availability;
  • deviations from flight plans;
  • airspace availability.

The full list of data must be made available to the above list of parties involved in ATFM processes and provided free of charge to, and by, the central unit for ATFM.

General obligations of operators

Any relevant ATFM measures and changes to filed flight plans must be included in the planned flight operation and the pilot must be notified. When a flight plan is suspended because the ATFM departure slot * cannot be met, the operator concerned must arrange for updating or cancelling the flight plan.

Consistency between flight plans and airport slots

EU countries must ensure that, on request by an airport slot coordinator or managing body of a coordinated airport, the central unit for ATFM or the local ATFM unit provides them with the agreed flight plan of a flight operating at that airport, prior to the flight taking place.

Obligations concerning critical events *

EU countries must ensure the creation and publication of ATFM procedures for the management of critical events to minimise disruption to the EATMN. To prepare for critical events, ATS units and airport managing bodies will coordinate the contingency procedures with the operators affected by such critical events.

Monitoring of compliance with ATFM measures

EU countries must ensure that airports adhere to ATFM departure slots and where the adherence is 80% or less during a year, the ATS units at the airport concerned must detail the actions taken to ensure future adherence. The ATS unit at an airport is also responsible for providing the appropriate information on any failure to adhere to flight plan rejections or suspensions at that airport and to detail the actions taken to ensure future compliance.

Key terms used in the act
  • Air traffic flow management (ATFM) measure: the actions taken to perform air traffic flow management and capacity management;
  • Air traffic flow management (ATFM) departure slot: a calculated take-off time attributed by the central unit for ATFM with a time tolerance managed by the local air traffic services (ATS) unit;
  • Critical events: an unusual situation or crisis involving a major loss of European air traffic management network (EATMN) capacity or a major imbalance between EATMN capacity and demand, or a major failure in the information flow in one or several parts of the EATMN;

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EU) No 255/2010

15.4.2010

-

OJ L 80 of 26.3.2010

RELATED ACTS

Regulation (EC) No 552/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 on the interoperability of the European Air Traffic Management network [Official Journal L 96 of 31.3.2004].

Regulation (EC) No 551/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 on the organisation and use of the airspace in the single European sky [Official Journal L 96 of 31.3.2004].

Regulation (EC) No 550/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 on the provision of air navigation services in the single European sky [Official Journal L 96 of 31.3.2004].

Regulation (EC) No 549/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 laying down the framework for the creation of the Single European Sky (‘Framework Regulation’) [Official Journal L 96 of 31.3.2004].

Last updated: 17.06.2010
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