Minutes of en route ATFM delay per flight

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1. Contact
1.1 Contact organisation EUROCONTROL: The European organisation for the safety of air navigation.
1.2 Contact organisation unit Directorate Single Sky - Performance Review Unit (DSS/PRU)
1.3 Contact name Performance Review Unit - EUROCONTROL
1.5 Contact mail address 96 Rue de la Fusée
1130 Brussels
1.6 Contact e-mail address NSA-PRU-Support@eurocontrol.int
1.7 Contact phone number +32 2 729 39 56
2. Metadata update
2.1. Metadata last certified not applicable
2.2. Metadata last posted 12 September 2012
2.3. Metadata last update 20 July 2012

3. Statistical presentation

3.1. Data description

The measure provides an indication of ATFM delays on the ground due to constraints en route.

In accordance with EU legislation, Single European Sky Area States are required to adopt performance targets contributing adequately to and be consistent with the EU wide targets. The capacity KPI for the first reference period is the en route ATFM delay per flight.

In Europe, when traffic demand is anticipated to exceed the available capacity in en route centres or at airports, Air Traffic Control (ATC) units may request the local Flow Management Position (FMP) to instigate an Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) measure, or regulation. Aircraft expected to arrive during a period of congestion are given Air Traffic Flow Management delay at their departure airport, under the authority of the Network Manager, in order to regulate the flow of traffic into the constrained downstream en route sector or airport, thus ensuring safety. The resulting ATFM delays are calculated as the difference between the estimated take-off time calculated from the filed flight plan including updates and the calculated take-off time allocated by the central unit of ATFM. The reason for the regulation is indicated by the responsible Flow Management Position (FMP). The delay is attributed to the most constraining ATC unit.

En route ATFM delay has been in use as a commonly agreed proxy for en route capacity shortfalls since 1999. The calculation of ATFM delays is based on a well established and commonly accepted algorithm and is compliant with the KPI definition in the EU legislation.

3.2. Classification system

En route ATFM delay per flight is classified per Air Navigation Services Provider and per Functional Airspace Block within the Single European Sky Area.

For the monitoring of National/FAB Performance targets, the performance of the ANSP designated as the accountable entity in the performance plan is considered. This is extended to a group of ANSPs in the case of a FAB Performance Plans and targets. It should be noted that the areas of responsibility of the individual ANSPs are not necessarily coincidental with the geographical boundaries of the State.

3.3. Sector coverage

The measures pertain to the Air Transport and Air Traffic Management Sector of the economy.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

ATFM delays
ATFM delay” is defined as the duration between the last Estimated Take-Off Time (ETOT) and the Calculated Take-Off Time (CTOT) allocated by the Network Manager. ATFM delay comprises both Airport ATFM delay and En route ATFM delay. This indicator is solely concerned with En route ATFM delay.
The delay is truncated to minutes.
All the IFR flights which have filed a flight plan and have entered the area of responsibility of the relevant ANSP(s) are taken into account.
Each flight is only counted once, regardless of its trajectory.
Attribution of Delay

ATFM delay to which a flight is subjected is defined to have as cause the most penalizing ATFM regulation which affects it. Depending of the type and the entity responsible for the reference location protected by the ATFM regulation the ATFM delay is classified as either an airport or an en route ATFM delay and attributed to the relevant ANSP.

Each ATFM regulation also comprises a designator referring to the cause of delay which can be used in further analysis.

3.5. Statistical unit

The statistical unit is the State/ ANSP to which the ATFM delays are attributed.

3.6. Statistical population

The statistical population comprises the States in the Single European Sky Area.

3.7. Reference area

The reference area is the Single European Sky Area.

3.8. Time coverage

2012 is the first year for which data is presented.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.

4. Unit of Measure

The en route ATFM delay is measured in minutes per IFR flight.

5. Reference period

  • The first reference period (RP1) covers the calendar years 2012 to 2014 inclusive.
  • The second reference period (RP2) covers the calendar years 2015 to 2019 inclusive.

Unless decided otherwise, the following reference periods shall be of five calendar years.

6. Institutional Mandate

Legal acts and agreements are established in the Performance Regulation (691/2010).

7. Confidentiality

8. Release policy

8.1. Release calendar

En route ATFM delay data is released 12 times per year, once per month.

8.2. Release calendar access

Not applicable.

8.3. User access

Information is disseminated to the general public via the EUROCONTROL website.

9. Frequency of dissemination

En route ATFM data is published monthly with the annual performance aggregate being available in January of the following year.

10. Dissemination format

The information is available on the EUROCONTROL website.

11. Accessibility of documentation

11.1. Documentation on methodology

As per the pertaining regulations (see Institutional Mandate).
For technical questions not addressed in Statistical processing please contact: NSA-PRU-Support@eurocontrol.int.
Additional definitions of the terms used in the frame of the this KPI are available in the Glossary.

11.2. Quality documentation

There is no specific documentation on procedures applied for quality management and quality assessment.

12. Quality Management

12.1. Quality assurance

The data is provided by the Network Manager and as such it is their responsibility to perform any quality assurance activities.

12.2. Quality assessment

Data is validated by random quality checks, e.g. missing data for given a day, adherent data, etc. Any issues are reported to the Network manager who works with the EUROCONTROL Performance Review Unit to resolve them.

13. Relevance

The information is published for performance monitoring purposes in accordance with the relevant EU legislation.

13.3. Completeness

The data is collected for the entire Single European Sky Area.

14. Accuracy and reliability

14.1. Overall accuracy

The en route ATFM delay is the delay calculated by the central unit of ATFM as defined in Commission Regulation (EU) No 255/2010. This calculation is based on a well established methodology, which has been in place since 1999.

It is assumed that the data provided is accurate, given the caveats mentioned in sections 3.4 and 3.6.

14.2. Sampling error

There is no sampling and therefore no sampling error.

15. Timeliness and punctuality

15.1. Timeliness

The full set of Minutes of en route ATFM delay per flight is published each month - in general between 14 and 16 days after the end of the month in question.

15.2. Punctuality

The internal databases are updated daily. The statistical processing is performed once per month.

16. Comparability

16.1. Comparability — geographical

The data is collected centrally by the Network Manager and computed consistently throughout the entire Single European Sky Area which allows comparisons across different units.

16.2. Comparability over time

Comparisons over time are valid.

17. Coherence

17.1. Coherence — cross domain

ATFM delays is calculated relative to the flight plan.

Although not fully cohered, the delay reported by aircraft operators to CODA under the corresponding IATA delay categories shows a high correlation with the ATFM delay calculated by the Network Manager. It should be noted that the delay reported by aircraft operators relates to airline schedules rather than flight plan.

17.2. Coherence — internal

Data is fully coherent from an internal perspective.

18. Cost and burden

Not available.

19. Data revision

The data revision policy has not yet been defined.

20. Statistical processing

20.1. Source data

En route ATFM delay per flight targets
The EU-wide target is an average of 0.5 minutes per flight ATFM en route delay in 2014 and for all years in RP2 (2015-2019)
National or FAB performance targets are contained within the respective performance plans.
Actual en route ATFM delay
The Network Manager provides this data.
Actual Number of IFR flights
The Network Manager provides this data.

20.2. Frequency of data collection

Data is collected for each individual flight in real time.

20.3. Data collection

Data is collected and compiled by the Network Manager.

20.4. Data validation

Data validation is the responsibility of the Network Manager.

20.5. Data compilation

The Network Manager aggregates the data for the different operational units which refer to specific ANSPs. The ANSPs monitored during the first reference period are referred to as the SES RP1 ANSPs.

20.6. Adjustment

Corrections may be made when issues are discovered as described in the Quality Assessment section of this document.

There are no systematic adjustments applied to this data.

21. Comment

No comments.


This data is published by the Performance Review Body (PRB) of the Single European Sky. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information and analysis contained on this website are as accurate and complete as possible. Despite these precautions, should you find any errors or inconsistencies we would be grateful if you could please bring them to the Performance Review Unit’s attention.

The information may be copied in whole or in part providing that the copyright notice and disclaimer are included. The information may not be modified without prior written permission from the PRB. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official views or policy of EUROCONTROL or of the European Commission, which make no warranty, either implied or express, for the information contained on this website, neither do they assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of this information. The PRB reserves the right to change or amend the information provided at any time and without prior notice.

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