Air traffic in India continues to grow rapidly and this trend is likely to continue to expand into the future. Increased traffic is expected at many of the existing airports. This increase in demand requires a corresponding effort to utilize system capacity efficiently. This will require Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) capabilities for effective Demand and Capacity Balancing (DCB). The ATFM tools will enable improved management of demand and capacity, and will help system stakeholders to deal with the increased complexity of the nation’s air routes.

Demand and capacity balancing will allow airspace users to optimize their participation in the ATM system while mitigating conflicting needs for airspace and aerodrome capacity through collaborative usage of decision-support tools thus ensuring most efficient use of airspace resources, equitable access for all airspace users, accommodate user preferences and ensuring that demand on an airspace resource will not exceed its capacity. Demand and capacity management aims to maximize the ATM system capacity whilst minimizing the effects of constraints. This will achieve system-wide traffic optimization through the application of demand and capacity balancing and traffic synchronization.

The system will endeavor to remove constraints wherever possible, and minimize the effect of constraints through management and modification of trajectories where removal is not possible. Where constraints are unavoidable, the earliest possible notice will be given to those affected. The intent is that any modifications will be the minimum required to avert any conflict, meet runway capacity requirements.

This strategy envisages a transition in traffic management away from today’s emphasis on tactically adjusting demand to fixed capacity. It envisages a more strategic and collaborative approach to managing system-wide resources and capacities to match capacity with, rather than constrain, demand. The nature of tactical flow management will be more dynamic and adaptive to operate to finer capacity and time limits and cope with real-time events. Terminal Flow Control measures will be implemented at busy terminal approach areas and airports which are capacity constrained. The demand will be balanced with the capacity through strategic slot management process and dynamic flow control measures.
A Central ATFM system will be established to dynamically asses the airspace situation and capacity optimization taking into consideration various constraints such as airspace/ airport situation, weather conditions, traffic congestion, that affect the smooth flow of traffic throughout the Indian FIRs. Demand and Capacity Assessment Processes and tools to identify, collect, analyze, validate and distribute demand and capacity data to produce an accurate picture of the capacity, constraints and demand patterns through all phases of flight will be developed.
Mitigating measures and alternate actions to avoid congestion and delay both in the terminal and enroute airspace and airports will be achieved through Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) processes involving all stakeholders.

This document outlines a high-level concept of operations for ATFM system in India. It will describe the ATFM system architecture, the roles and responsibilities of the ATFM personnel, the role and responsibilities of CCC and TMUs, the CDM process, the Flight Planning requirements for ATFM operations and the ATFM system implementation processes including some probable operational scenarios that describe how ATFM operations would be conducted.