ATFM flow management

Air traffic flow management is a service that aims to ensure efficient use of the available network capacity, to facilitate air carrier planning, the coordination and implementation of ATFM measures taken between the operational parties concerned, to facilitate the incorporation of military needs and crisis management responses, and to ensure the regional connectivity and interoperability of the European network within the ICAO EUR region and with neighbouring ICAO regions.

This air traffic flow management service in the ICAO EUR region is provided centrally by the Eurocontrol Network Management Directorate through its Network Management Operations Centre (NMOC) and in conjunction with the flow management positions (FMP) established in each European ACC.

In Spain, ENAIRE is the only certified local ATFM service provider. It offers this service through its five Flow Management Position (FMP) units located in its regional control centres and the Central ATM Unit (UATM):

  • Madrid FMP, in ACC Madrid.
  • Barcelona FMP, in ACC Barcelona.
  • Seville FMP, in ACC Seville.
  • Palma FMP, at the TACC in Palma de Mallorca.
  • Canary Islands FMP, in ACC Canary Islands
  • UATM, in ACC Madrid.

Each of them provides the service within its area of responsibility whereas the UATM covers these areas when the regional FMPs are not operational. The areas of responsibility of each of them and their schedules and contacts can be consulted on AIP Spain (ENR 1.9).

These regional FMPs act as a point of contact and interface within their area of competence between the NMOC, on the one hand, and the designated areas and their corresponding aerodromes and ATS units (military and civil), on the other.

These units, in coordination with the relevant ATS units and the central network manager, ensure the implementation of appropriate ATFM measures for optimal traffic flow and balanced demand and capacity by coordinating the efficient use of available capacity.

The purpose of these ATFM measures is to:

  1. Strengthen the safety of operations and avoid excessive air traffic demand compared to the declared ATC capacity of sectors and aerodromes, including runways.
  2. utilise network capacity to the full extent possible to optimise network efficiency and minimise adverse effects on operators,
  3. optimise the capacity of the network made available through implementing capacity-enhancing measures developed by the ATS units,
  4. assist in the management of critical situations;

Similarly, these units provide the central network manager with the local data necessary for the execution of the ATFM function and they report events, including transition plans for the entry into service of major airspace or ATM system upgrades and adverse weather conditions that may affect air traffic control capacity or demand, as well as proposing mitigation measures.

The traffic management service complies with regulations EU No. 255/2010 and EU No. 123/2019.