At early development stages, changes in the air transport system of today and the future and their effects are mainly analysed based on models. This often involves fast-time simulations. For this reason, a highly automated and flexible environment of models and tools was developed in the Air Traffic Validation Center. This environment is used to explore a wide range of questions regarding the evaluation of system changes.
Model-based performance assessments can be used to examine various aspects of changes concerning, for example, the time horizon (today up to 2050+), geographical scope (one airport through to global air traffic), a system change (new runway) or evaluation criteria (capacity, delay, emission, cost-efficiency, noise, etc.). Over the past decade, objectives in the areas of capacity and delay have been the main drivers of change in the air traffic management system. However, cost-efficiency and the environment are also gaining more and more importance.
To address a large number of different questions, the Air Traffic Validation Center combined a mixture of models that they developed themselves and are commercially available for conducting model-based performance assessments. Key instruments are the simulation tools AirTOP, SIMMOD PLUS!, SIMMOD PRO! and TrafficSim, which effectively complement each other.