Are there realistic ways to use market-based demand-management mechanisms to redistribute air traffic in the European airspace?
SATURN is motivated by frequent demand and capacity imbalances in the European airspace network, which are forecast to continue in the near future. The present and foreseen ways of dealing with such imbalances mainly concern strategic and tactical capacity-side interventions, followed by tactical administrative demand management measures, if needed. As a result, not only do substantial costs arise, often coupled with unfair effects of capacity allocation methods, but airspace users are also typically left with no choice but to comply with imposed administrative solutions.
Recognising the problem, the objective of SATURN is to propose and test realistic ways to use market-based demand-management mechanisms to redistribute air traffic in the European airspace. SATURN puts forward centralised and decentralised, deterministic and non-deterministic, pure and ’hybrid‘ pricing mechanisms to alleviate demand-capacity imbalances in an airspace network. SATURN does so assuming different Air Traffic Management (ATM) operational paradigms (airspace-based and trajectory-based), taking explicit account of the viewpoints of different stakeholders (the regulatory authority and the Network Manager, the airspace users, the ANSPs), and the passengers.
Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the applicability of the designed models in the near future draws upon extensive quantitative computational experimentations performed on regional and European scale airspace networks. The expected outcome of SATURN is to provide major European ATM stakeholders a clear understanding of the benefits and shortcomings, for each of them, of different pricing mechanisms as means to be introduced mostly at the strategic and pre-tactical level to smooth-out the emerging imbalances on the day of operations.