EUROCONTROL, together with its partners, has moved forward on a number of activities which are key for Implementation Package 1 (IP1), the foundation for the ATM Master Plan
1. Flight Level Adherence Days: The first ECAC-wide Flight Level Adherence Days will take place on 29 and 30 September 2010. On these two days, airlines will be required to fly at the Requested Flight Level (RFL) as reflected in the filed flight plan. Flight plan information is used by CFMU and FMP's to optimize network operations, such as resolving anticipated traffic overloads in specific sectors through proposed re-routings and/or ATFCM departure slots (CTOT). Deviations from the flight plans can lead to inaccurate ATFCM measures, sector overloads, waste of capacity and less overall network capacity and flight efficiency. Over the past few years, the need to address this has been raised repeatedly by European ATM players. In early 2009, EUROCONTROL, on request from ANSPs, launched the "Flight Plan & ATFCM Adherence Campaign", as a short-term performance improvement initiative in the context of DMEAN and the Flight Efficiency Plan. On the basis of two local flight level adherence trials by Maastricht and Karlsruhe centres, the Adherence Task Force (with ACI, IFATCA, ECA, IATA, IACA, EUFALDA and ANSPs) proposed the "Flight Level Adherence Days". Preparation is now in full swing, including guidance and awareness material and wide publicity through social media such as Facebook and Twitter (see www.adherencedays.com and www.eurocontrol.int/adherence). This trial will provide essential input on the next steps toward improving network performance and reducing sector overloads. 2. Improved ab-initio selection procedures through the FEAST test: FEAST (the First European Air traffic controller Selection Test) service has reached a landmark since its inception in 2004. 20,000 young applicants for the job of ATC trainee from all corners of Europe have taken the FEAST selection tests. In the very specialized selection process for ATC, only a few applicants have the combination of abilities and skills which suggest they have a good chance of being successful at the long and difficult ATCO training. The EUROCONTROL FEAST service currently provides 32 civil and military ANSPs in the ECAC area with the FEAST selection system for their own use in the recruitment and selection of ab-initio air traffic controllers. The online psychometric test battery which was designed specifically for ATC selection, measures cognitive abilities and skills of applicants. It allows selection decision makers to make better-informed and more objective judgments about the suitability of applicants. As part of the service, EUROCONTROL offers full implementation support including the technical infrastructure for the delivery of the tests and professional support including Europe-wide validation of the test battery. Performance measures of the FEAST service conclude that the tests have predictive validity and represent a cost effective solution for ANSPs. 3. AIM: Significant changes to the Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) on electronic Terrain and Obstacle Data (TOD) are underway thanks to the recent Amendment 36 and its corrigendum to ICAO Annex 15. the European TOD stakeholder group, co-ordinated by EUROCONTROL, has produced an initial Terrain and Obstacle Data guide to clarify the SARPs further and to address some of the outstanding discrepancies. ICAO intends to publish this as the official ICAO Guidance Manual so everyone can benefit from the European implementation experience. 4. Conclusion of the Digital SNOWTAM Trial: A pre-operational Trial was executed by EUROCONTROL between November 2009 - April 2010 in which the information contained in SNOWTAM messages (airport surface contamination with snow/ice, friction coefficient, etc.) was converted into digital AIXM 5.1 data. The data was used to create graphical views which were made available to Airline Operational Centres. Some major Airlines jointed the trial expressing full support for the concept and their desire for such data services to become fully operational and to also be integrated into the CFMU NOP Portal. 5. LINK 2000+: In support of the Data Link Services Implementing Rule, the TEN-T Executive Agency decided in Dec 2009 to fund the Datalink Incentives Scheme for Airborne equipage. EUROCONTROL is administering the fund and will ensure that all aircraft funded under the scheme are equipped in 2011 and 2012. A first call for tender to Airspace Users was issued in January 2010, as a result contracts are now being placed with 19 companies. A new and final call for tender was launched on June 25th to allow additional Airspace Users to join the scheme. EUROCONTROL expects to make associated contracts in September 2010.