The computer application to complete the calculation studies for ATM capacity.

Programme of Investigation of runway CAPacity (PICAP) +

Within Europe, the need for the systematic analysis of ATM capacity indicators and their obtention - through generally recognised methods - has been widely underlined in the objectives of the ECAC (air traffic management strategy 2000+) and the European Union (EEC regulation 95/93).

In the case of Spain, the carrying out of monitoring studies on the ATM capacity on all of the airports in the ENAIRE network is being carried out within the Programme of Investigation of runway Capacity (PICAP). However, the increase in airports with unmet demand (therefore pending thorough capacity studies according to regulation 95/93) make this organisation unfeasible. Thus, and according to the experience accumulated from the start of the programme, the need to optimise the PICAP study process was detected, studying different practical aspects in further detail.

With this objective, the PICAP+ computer application was started in June 2000, which allows for completion - in an integrated manner and following PICAP methodology - of the ATM capacity calculation studies in all of their stages, as well as the automation of the entire process.

PICAP+ Objectives

The objectives of the PICAP+ computer programmes are:

  • To optimise the information obtaining and treatment process time.
  • Simplicity and speed in studying basic settings.
  • Standardisation of results and data.
  • To maintain the flexibility of the programme to adapt to the different settings.
  • To open the programme to new users: 
    • Local use of the programme.
    • Commercialisation of the programme to users outside ENAIRE.

The end objective of the PICAP+ development is to ensure the transfer of the necessary technology from the central ENAIRE Air Navigation services to the regional offices so that these are capable of assuming their own ATM capacity studies related to the airports located in their region.

The transfer process defined for this stage must ensure that the studies generated in this manner are in line with the PICAP methodology recognised by ENAIRE.

Description of the PICAP+ process

To obtain standardised results by PICAP and their subsequent automatic generation of graphs in Excel format, the PICAP+ programme follows a process that is specified in the following stages:

  • Start of the application:
    • General presentation of PICAP+.
    • Airport and study administrator.
    • PICAP+ Guide.
  • Configuration of setting and adjustment of study parameters:
    • Runway infrastructure and characteristics.
    • Control service provided.
    • Departure and approach procedures.
    • Aircraft behaviour.
    • Traffic demand.
    • Operational parameters (data taking, estimations).
    • Traffic mix.
  • Selection of results:
    • Calculation process.
    • Selection of results (quality and service level indicators).
  • Presentation of results:
    • Exporting to standard graph formats.


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