All the hard work and planning are now on the point of paying off. Accurate forecasts issued by the Network Manager’s Operations & Planning departments will support UK NATS, the adjacent ACCs and the Network Manager Operations Room in their operations during the Olympics.
We have come up with a clear picture of expected traffic peaks, sector loads as well as current departure and arrival bookings for all Olympic airports. These forecasts will be regularly updated and reviewed.
In previous articles on this topic, we highlighted the wide range of activities that all the people involved in preparing for the extra air traffic generated by the Games have been doing.
Air traffic flow and capacity management, ATFCM co-ordination, airspace management, airports, tools and services - every single area of ATM has been scrutinised by experts from UK NATS, the British Civil Aviation Authority and Department of Transport, the National Airport Slot Coordinator-ACL, adjacent ACCs and the Network Manager. Indeed, NATS spent over four years redesigning airspace over London to prepare for a significant influx of traffic; they have been constantly refining their plans!
Excitement grows with the Olympic flame approaching the stadium (18 June 2012)
Warming up for the 2012 Olympics (22 November 2011)
Panoramic vision is our added value
A London 2012 Olympic Axis, which includes all the neighbouring ACCs and Flow Management Positions (FMPs), has been meeting on a regular basis to pre-validate the airspace data changes and agree on operational procedures.
The main activity is forecast to take place on five dates for which traffic peaks are expected: 25-27 July, 30 July for the 100m final and 13 August for the closure ceremony, when most visitors are expected to go back home.
The NM experts are working directly with NATS to provide forecasts for the London Olympics using DDR2 data and 4D routing assignments (more details in previous article) that take into account the airspace environment NATS will operate during the Olympic Games (21 July - 15 August 2012). These forecasts are being updated every two days.
During the pre-tactical phase, NATS will receive daily forecasts. These forecasts will not only exploit DDR2 airport slot data but will also:
use the environment (airspace & routes) that NATS will operate during the Olympic period
modify forecasts to take account of shift in tracks above the North Atlantic which will be known only two to three days prior to the day of operations.
At present, we expect that the forecasts - both for the London region and the network as a whole - will be reliable. However, there might be some differences caused by aircraft operators making other route choices: these will be factored in as they occur.
Airport Slot Reservation: 40 Coordinated Airports
We anticipate significant increase in demand to access many of the airports in the south-east. Airspace over the south-eastern England could well become overcrowded - and this could result in an increase in flow control regulations being applied and delays. A reservation system has been developed to reduce this risk.
More information including a complete list of coordinated airports: www.acl-uk.org
Demand Data Repository Phase 2 growing to its full potential
The DDR2 is now fully operational. It collects and processes flight intention data from multiple sources. Since 5 June 2012, the Network Management Operations people use DDR2 slot data operationally to improve pre-tactical traffic forecasts in support of pre-tactical network planning.
This has led to a significant improvement in the quality of forecasts, which, in the past, used to rely mostly on historical data.
Additionally, for the ECAC region as a whole, DDR2 web services will provide access to both customisable strategic forecasts and pre-tactical reference forecasts. These services will go live in August 2012 after acceptance testing.