PRC Technical Note on En-route Capacity
This technical note focuses on en route capacity in 10 area control centres (ACCs) managed by seven air navigation service providers (ANSPs). It shows how the various facets of capacity are managed: from planning future capacity, right through to deployment.
Its purpose is to raise awareness of the various aspects of capacity performance and to identify specific examples of how they inter-relate in different ACCs across the network.
The Technical Note also highlights areas where the Performance Review Commission (PRC) considers capacity performance could be improved These areas include, but are not limited to, identifying and resolving (or mitigating) capacity bottlenecks; correctly identifying the ANSP-related causes of capacity constraints that aggravate and magnify external constraints (such as ATC staffing); and deploying ATC capacity to meet traffic demand rather than constraining demand until it matches the level of deployed capacity.
Finally, the Technical Note strives to stimulate discussion about the interplay between the operations and the economics of providing air navigation services and in particular about how the economic metric air traffic controller (ATCO) hour productivity interacts with operational capacity performance.
The Technical Note is based on data up to February 2020. Since then the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the aviation industry particularly hard. The issues explored in this Technical Note may assist ANSPs when the crisis has eased and aviation starts to return to normal.
Read more in the full document available for download below.