Sector Validation Standard (NORVASE)

The need to improve air traffic control capability and cater to the increase in air traffic demand, together with the financial costs caused by delays due to the control sectors' poor ATM capability, make it necessary to establish standards that optimise sector performance and provide a more precise definition of their ATM capability.

To cover these needs, NORVASE (Sector Validation Standard) was launched in 1988 as a tool to establish criteria for determining ATM capability using standardised procedures, which, through effective, standardised methods, enable control sector optimisation.


The objectives achieved with this tool are: 

  • Identification of sectors that require modification, proposing solutions for critical aspects (operation procedure modifications, flow redistribution).
  • Operational assessment studies for implementation before the creation of new control sectors.
  • Assessment of control sector ATM capability employing a proprietary capability model called MECANO.

Areas of application

The dynamic nature of this tool enables its use in a variety of different areas: 

  • Continuous monitoring of current operational conditions in the airspace control sectors.
  • Optimisation in the design of new scenarios for accelerated simulation (multibody simulation - MBS).
  • Exhaustive analysis of new operational conditions for sectors.

Process and results

This rigourous procedure is initiated by using specific software to record all the control and co-ordination actions carried out between sectors by the executive controller and/or planner.

Processing this information provides a wide variety of data, which is analysed by a group of ATM experts, in the form of:

  • Statistics on control actions.
  • Workload and ATM capability (movements/hour).


NORVASE provides clear benefits for the air traffic control environment, enabling:

  • Adaptation of sector ATM capability to real operational situations.
  • Definition, standardisation and establishment of sector assessment criteria and indicators.
  • Anticipation of possible control sector saturation situations.
  • Support for decision making concerning airspace management.
  • Improvement in the effectiveness of control operations, through the active participation of air traffic control facilities.


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