EUROCONTROL Strategic Guidance in Support of the Execution of the European ATM Master Plan

EUROCONTROL Strategic Guidance in Support of the Execution of the European ATM Master Plan


The single common reference for the future of ATM in Europe, the European ATM Master Plan was formally endorsed by the European Council on 30 March 2009. In order to support the air navigation community in executing the Master Plan, EUROCONTROL has published strategic guidance describing how Eurocontrol with its activities will reach the targets set out in the Plan.

The Strategic Guidance in Support of the Execution of the European ATM Master Plan has been developed in order to:

  • Replace the existing 13 Eurocontrol Domain strategies and align with the first version of the European ATM Master Plan;
  • Establish a consistent baseline that can be maintained by the Agency for all its activities alignment and consistency with the European ATM Master Plan.


The Strategic Guidance reflects the current knowledge acquired in concept and development work conducted by ATM Stakeholders in the European (SJUSES, EUR Region, etc.) and in global context (International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)).

The document provides a consolidated overview of how the European ATM System will accommodate the forecasted demand and respond to Stakeholder needs. The audience are the experts involved in long term and medium term ATM planning.

Positioning of Strategic Guidance:
within the context of the European ATM Master Plan and the overall global context

The Strategic Guidance has been produced to both support the implementation and development of the Master Plan and to describe how to achieve the set targets.


The development of this strategic guidance serves multiple purposes:

  1. Establish a consistent baseline that can be maintained as an integral part of the European ATM Master Plan maintenance process. It is recognised that the SESAR definition phase deliverables serve as a baseline. The intention is however to let the Strategic Guidance evolve over the years, together with the Master Plan, the Concept of Operation and other SESAR documentation.
  2. Communicate the essence of the European ATM Master Plan (in particular the underlying evolution plan) in a clear, explicit, easily understandable way. This includes explaining the rationale behind the choices made.
  3. Build on the main SESAR definition phase deliverables.In particular it has been ensured that the Strategic Guidance is aligned with the SESAR Performance Framework, the Target Concept and Architecture, the Deployment Sequence and the Master Plan.
  4. Complement the SESAR definition phase deliverables by extending the scope and covering certain subjects in more detail (e.g. deployment strategy, reduction of fragmentation, spectrum management, UAV/UAS).
  5. To replace, update and restructure existing material. Due to the changed European ATM context there was a need to publish up-to-date material which replaces the old EUROCONTROL strategic documentation (Domain Strategies and its associated documents) in a different format, while integrating recently updated and approved Domain Strategies such as the one on Airspace and Navigation.


This “Strategic Guidance in support of the Execution of the European ATM Master Plan” is structured around four elements of the ATM System: Performance (including Safety), Network, Information Management and Infrastructure and will play an important role in the European ATM Master Plan Update process.

The background rationale of the European ATM Master Plan is described together with guidance for deployment from four complementary perspectives. The document explains how the phased delivery of Operational Improvements described from the Network perspective (Annex B) will exploit the evolving capabilities in the areas of Infrastructure (Annex D) and Information Management (Annex C) to deliver ATM operational services in line with the Performance requirements (Annex A).

Document Structure

This document comprises two Chapters.

Chapter 1, Steps towards the SESAR Future Operational Concept, provides a brief overview of the key SESAR documents, their terminology and the need for change.

Chapter 2, Strategic Guidance in support of the European ATM Master Plan, provides a strategic overview of the envisaged SESAR ATM system through the four perspectives - Performance Network, Information Management and Infrastructure - in line with the evolving Operational Concept.

Four Annexes provide strategic guidance from the perspective of:

  • ATM Performance (Annex A)

The ATM Performance Guidance relates to the other elements of the ATM System: Network, Information Management and Infrastructure, through the performance requirements and targets. These relationships are captured through the links to the key features of the SESAR ATM target concept: trajectory management, collaborative planning, integration of airport operations, new separation modes, SWIM and the infrastructure to enable the achievement of the target concept.

  • ATM Network (Annex B)

The ATM Network Guidance specifies how the ATM Network, comprising airspace, airports and network management activities, will evolve, from an operational perspective, to satisfy the ATM performance needs. The changes will be oriented to implement the SESAR Operational Concept inline with the performance framework an will be aimed at delivering operational capabilities for a specific level of service. In order to provide the ATM Service Levels requirements will be placed on Infrastructure and Information Management to deliver capabilities to support the ATM Network.

  • ATM Information Management (Annex C)

The ATM Information Management, specifies how the Information Management (IM) network consisting of stakeholders and systems in the roles of ATM information users and information providers will evolve — from an operational IM perspective — to implement the SWIM concept and satisfy the strategic IM performance needs. It also specifies the changing IM roles, responsibilities and rules as well as (in general terms) requirements for the ATM Infrastructure needed to support Information Management.

  • ATM Infrastructure (Annex D)

The ATM Infrastructure Guidance specifies how airspace users, airports, ANSPs and other stakeholders are expected to modernise and improve their ATM related systems and infrastructure so as to enable the other strategies. It outlines the transition as a roadmap of Enabler deployments organised around Stakeholder systems, complemented by a suitable deployment Strategic Guidance. Civil military interoperability aspects are also covered.

The full text of the Strategic Guidance in Support of the Execution of the European ATM Master Plan can be viewed here.

References to the Master Plan

The Strategic Guidance is aligned - in terminology and content - with the European ATM Master Plan. A table of reference to the European ATM Master plan illustrates this alignment and will serve as a tool to ensure continuing alignment throughout the maintenance phase.

The Update Process

The Strategic Guidance in Support of the Execution of the European ATM Master Plan is a living document and will be updated to reflect any future agreed changes to the European ATM Master Plan.

EUROCONTROL is fully aligned behind the European ATM Master Plan and our aim is to help our members and stakeholders to do likewise.

Further reading


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