Fragmentation in European ATM/CNS system and its link to Performance

23 September 2023. - A new report, published by the InterFAB Task Force Fragmentation, shines a light on new topics related to fragmentation such as new technologies or legislations. Although addressing fragmentation is a policy objective for SES and therefore for the European Commission, there has been little work on it for a number of years.

Until today, the most relevant work on this topic had been the report commissioned by the Performance Review Commission called “The impact of fragmentation in European ATM/CNS” that was prepared by Helios Economics and Policy Services (“Helios study”). Using data from 2003, this report was published in 2006. Over the last decades, however, there have been many changes in the sector that have had a major impact on this topic that were not included in the Helios study because they did not exist in that time or were not relevant. In addition, several advances have been made in the study of the impacts of fragmentation in European ATM/CNS like academic works or an InterFAB Research Workshop about fragmentation which can now be considered.

The new InterFAB report now covers the current state of fragmentation in European ATM/CNS and compares it to the situation of 2006 by analysing progress on the aspects which were mentioned in the Helios study as being on the horizon, including the findings of the research that have been done about this topic since that time. Therefore, the report will be structured by fragmentation-related topics that are considered relevant in the Helios report but will also include new topics that may be relevant:

  • Definition of fragmentation
  • Metrics to measure fragmentation
  • Progress since 2006
  • Principle of subsidiarity
  • Working conditions in defragmentation
  • Transition Costs
  • Impact of technology on fragmentation
  • CNS/ATM Physical infrastructure evolution
  • Evolution of costs in European ATM/CNS
  • Negative impacts of fragmentation
  • Comparison EU-US
  • Importance of SESAR and ATM Master Plan
  • Comparison of ACCs
  • Fragmentation in the whole value chain

Fragmentation in the European Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) system is a concern for the Single European Sky (SES) initiative – and reducing it is one of the objectives of the initiative. SES was launched in 2000 by the European Commission and entered into force in 2004 and has evolved since. The objective of SES is to improve the performance of ATM and air navigation services (ANS) through better integration of European airspace. One of the pillars of this initiative is to improve services and reduce costs to air transport passengers by reducing the fragmentation of the air traffic management in Europe. Thus, the objective of this work is to address and measure the different aspects of fragmentation and to see to what extent there is a link between fragmentation and performance.

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For more information, please, contact:

Dr Matthias Whittome,