New airspace sector structures manager.

New Sector Structures Manager

To optimise the design of the current sector network to cater to growing air traffic demand and to follow the guidelines established by the European Commission, which takes the line that sector limits should be established based on operative factors rather than on political geography factors, it is considered of the utmost importance to have a methodological tool capable of providing an objective sectorisation proposal for any airspace size.

That was how GENES (New Sector Structures Manager) came into being. This a semiautomatic method that provides new sectorisation proposals, taking advantage of the combined potential of accelerated time simulation and genetic algorithms.

Areas of application

Thanks to its flexibility, GENES can be applied to a number of areas:

  • Short-, medium- and long-term studies, depending on the traffic forecast entered.
  • Analysis of the repercussions of future air traffic control concepts or predicted route network modifications.
  • Overall contingency plans.


The methodology for obtaining sector configuration data is carried out in three stages:

  1. Conflict distributions and flow locations within the basic volume unit network are obtained through accelerated time simulation.
  2. Using a mathematical optimisation model, based on genetic algorithms, the basic volume units are grouped together to obtain the most favourable sector configuration, applying the following general criteria:
    • The number of sectors must be the minimum or requisite number for different situations.
    • The number of conflicts per sector and time unit must not exceed a specified value.
    • The number of sectors crossed by each aircraft must be the minimum required.
    • The time the aircraft remain in one sector must not exceed a specified value.
  3. Analysis, refinement and further validation of the resulting sector configurations, employing accelerated time simulation and the data collected on real air traffic control positions.


The advantages provided by GENES are:

  • Dimensioning and design of the operative sectors necessary to satisfy certain demand requirements, whilst maintaining the controller's workload within safety parameters.
  • Guarantee of harmonisation, within the European framework, of the new common strategies in transport related to the "One Sky for Europe" airspace management project.


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