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Regulation 255/2010 - Common Rules on Air Traffic Flow Management

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Category: Single European Sky Single European Sky
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Commission Regulation (EC) No 255/2010 of 25 March 2010 laying down common rules on air traffic flow management - text published in the Official Journal of the European Union

Objective

The Regulation aims to optimise the available capacity of the European air traffic management network (EATMN) and enhance air traffic flow management (ATFM) processes by establishing requirements for ATFM.

Background

The general framework of the Single European Sky (SES) needs to be completed by more specific and detailed implementing rules. The European Commission has adopted this regulation in order to support the implementation of Regulation 551/2004 on the organisation and use of the airspace in SES, which forms part of the first package of legislation on air traffic management designed to create the SES.

The uniform application of specific rules and procedures within the airspace of the single European sky is critical for the achievement of the optimum use of available air traffic control capacity through the efficient management and operation of the ATFM function. Such ATFM rules and procedures should be based on principles laid down by ICAO and all parties in the ATFM system should adhere to those rules that ensure that air traffic control capacity is used safely and to the maximum extent possible.

The uniform application of specific rules and procedures within the airspace of the single European sky is critical for the achievement of the optimum use of available air traffic control capacity through the efficient management and operation of the ATFM function. Such ATFM rules and procedures should be based on principles laid down by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and all parties in the ATFM system should adhere to those rules that ensure that air traffic control capacity is used safely and to the maximum extent possible.

Summary

Scope

This Regulation applies to the airspace within the ICAO EUR and AFI regions where EU Member States are responsible for the provision of air traffic services in accordance with the Service Provision Regulation.

The Regulation applies to all parties involved in the ATFM process (ATS providers, airport operators, aircraft operators, AIS, ATFM units, etc.) and to all phases of all flights intended to operate or operating as GAT and in accordance with the instrument flight rules (Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)) in whole or in part.

This Regulation does not cover military operations and training. However military aircraft operating as General Air Traffic (GAT) should be subject to ATFM measures when operating or intending to operate within airspace or airports to which ATFM measures apply.

ATFM Framework

The planning, coordination and execution of the ATFM measures by the parties involved shall comply with the ICAO provisions specified at annex to the Regulation.

ATFM measures shall:

  • prevent excessive air traffic demand in ATC sectors and at airports;
  • use EATMN capacity to the maximum extent possible in order to minimise adverse effects on aircraft operators;
  • optimise the EATMN capacity made available through capacity enhancing measures;
  • support the management of critical events.

The ATFM function shall be executed by local ATFM units and the central unit for ATFM. Slot allocation slots shall give priority to flights according to the order of their planned entry into the location at which the ATFM measure will apply.

Obligations of Member States

Member States shall ensure that the ATFM function is available on a 24 hour basis and that consistent procedures define the coordination and interaction between the parties involved in ATFM function, ATS units and entities involved in airspace management.

A common reference document containing the policies, procedures and route and traffic orientation shall be created and maintained.

Member States shall ensure that the central unit for ATFM performs the functions specified in Article 5 of this Regulation.

Member States shall ensure that ATFM procedures for handling critical events are established and published by the central unit for ATFM, in order to minimise disruption to the EATMN.

Obligations of ATS units

ATS units shall coordinate through the local ATFM unit with the central unit for ATFM any ATFM measure to be applied. In addition, ATS units shall ensure that ATFM measures applied to airports are coordinated with the airport managing body. Airport managing bodies shall notify the central unit for ATFM and/or the local ATFM unit or ATS units of all events that may impact air traffic control capacity or air traffic demand.

ATS units shall provide the central unit for ATFM with the ATS and aerodrome capacity data specified in Article 6 of the Regulation and subsequent updates thereto. Such data shall be made available to all parties involved in the ATFM process and provided free of charge to, and by, the central unit for ATFM.

The ATS units shall ensure that air traffic control clearances take due account of the ATFM measures and slots issued to flights.

Obligations of Operators

The operators shall ensure that each intended flight is covered by a single flight plan and that the flight plan reflects correctly the intended flight profile. Any relevant ATFM measures and changes thereto shall be incorporated into the planned flight operation and communicated to the pilot. If a flight plan has been suspended, the operator concerned shall arrange for updating or cancelling the flight plan.

Consistency between flight plans and airport slots

The Regulation promulgates requirements aimed to establish and improve the coordination between airport slot coordinators, central unit for ATFM, local ATFM units, ATS units and airport managing bodies in order to:

  • enable correlation between flight plans and airport slots
  • improve monitoring and reporting of inconsistencies and non-adherence to allocated slots.

Monitoring of compliance to ATFM measures

Member States are responsible for monitoring of the adherence to ATFM departure slots. ATS units shall provide the relevant information of non-compliance or any failure to adhere to flight plan rejections or suspensions, as well as the actions taken to ensure compliance. Such actions shall be indicated in a report to be submitted by the Member State concerned to the European Commission on an annual basis.

Operators shall submit a report to the central unit for ATFM on each non-compliance to ATFM measures providing details of the circumstances that resulted in a missing flight plan or multiple flight plans and the actions taken to correct such non-compliance. The central unit for ATFM shall submit to the European Commission an annual report providing details of missing flight plans, or multiple flight plans.

The central unit for ATFM shall notify Member States if a Member State grants exemptions in excess of 0,6 % of that Member State’s annual departures.

ATFM Performance Assessment

The central unit for ATFM shall produce annual reports indicating the quality of the ATFM that shall include details of:

  • causes of ATFM measures;
  • impact of ATFM measures;
  • adherence to ATFM measures.

The central unit for ATFM shall create and maintain an archive of ATFM data, including flight plans, operational logs and relevant contextual information. The archive data shall be made available to airport coordinators and airport operators to assist their regular assessment of the declared capacity.

Safety Requirements

Member States shall ensure that a safety assessment, including hazard identification, risk assessment and mitigation, is conducted, before any significant changes to ATFM systems and procedures are introduced, including an assessment of a safety management process addressing the complete lifecycle of the air traffic management system.

Additional Requirements

EU Member States shall ensure that all parties with responsibilities for ATFM functions develop and maintain operations manuals containing all necessary instructions and information to enable their operations personnel to apply the provisions of this Regulation. Personnel, involved in ATFM activities, shall be made duly aware of the relevant provisions and adequately trained and competent for their job functions. Staff working methods and operating procedures shall comply with this Regulation.


Regulation (EC) No 255/2010 laying down common rules on air traffic flow management (OJ, 26.3.2010)

Entry into Force

The Regulation entered into force in April 2010. However, applies from 26 September 2011.

This Regulation was amended by:

Further Reading