Surrounding traffic complexity analysis for efficient and stable conflict resolution

Marko Radanovic, Miquel Angel Piera Eroles, Thimjo Koca, Juan José Ramos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

25 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Elsevier Ltd The constant increase in air traffic demand increases a probability of the separation minima infringements in certain areas as a consequence of increased traffic density. The Annual Safety Report 2016 reports that in recent years the number of infringements, measured per million flight hours, had been increased at a lower rate (Eurocontrol, 2018). However, this level of infringements still generates a continuous pressure on the air traffic control (ATC) system and seeks for more control resources ready to tactically solve potential conflicts, while increasing at the same time the operational costs. Considering present air traffic management (ATM) trade-off criteria: increased airspace capacity and traffic efficiency but reducing the cost while preserving safety, new services must be designed to distribute the separation management ATC task loads among other actors. Based on the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research and Next Generation Air Transportation System initiatives, this paper proposes an innovative separation management service to shift the completely centralized tactical ATC interventions to more efficient decentralized tactical operations relying on an advanced surrounding traffic analysis tool, to preserve the safety indicators while considering the operational efficiency. A developed methodology for the proposed service is an application-oriented, trying to respond to characteristics and requirements of the current operational environment. The paper further analysis the traffic complexity taking into consideration the so-called domino effect, i.e. a number of the surrounding aircraft causally involved in the separation management service by the means of identification of the spatiotemporal interdependencies between them and the conflicting aircraft. This complexity is driven by the interdependencies structure and expressed as a time-criticality in quantifying the total number of the system solutions, that varies over time as the aircraft are approaching to each other. The results from two randomly selected ecosystem scenarios, extracted from a simulated traffic, illustrate different avoidance capacities for a given look-ahead time and the system solutions counts, that in discrete moments reach zero value.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-124
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Conflict detection
  • Ecosystem identification
  • Resolution capacity
  • Spatiotemporal interdependencies
  • Standard separation minima
  • Surrounding traffic


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