Traffic Flow Management



Ground Delay Programs (GDPs) and other traffic management initiatives (TMIs) frequently place excessively high constraints on arrival rates, which in turn impose a harsh financial and customer experience penalty on airlines. PASSUR’s Traffic Flow Management solution provides a data-driven, common operating platform that enables airlines and ATC to collaboratively arrive at the right rate based on instant data mining processes that match the weather forecast to historical performance under identical conditions.

  • In many cases, constraints can be adjusted or managed to benefit the airlines’ collective arrival rates, cutting costs significantly during the process while improving reliability and the customer experience.
  • This allows the operation to be calibrated to an agreed-upon target rate that reflects operational, business, and traffic management needs.
  • This PASSUR capability is the foundation for other successful traffic management programs, such as departure metering and sequencing, which depend on the same accurate forecasted performance profiles to ensure they are optimized.
  • PASSUR Traffic Forecast (PTF) replaces P-FSM with an updated and improved schedule forecast methodology that is always available for users.
  • Terminology has been updated to reflect the most accurate wording possible, removing subjective and qualitative phrases. The new selections are more suitable for quantitative analysis and better reflect the data-driven nature of PASSUR’s tools. Menu options now reduce the opportunity for subjective selection among users, resulting in more aligned purpose and functionality of PTF.

Through a unique process of data mining and predictive analytics, the PASSUR solution removes any subjectivity in setting rates for traffic management initiatives, replacing it with a range of performance target options, depending on the specific business objectives and operating configurations of the airline and ATC. This enables a data-driven, collaborative process and prevents many of the most common penalties associated with inaccurate rates, such as excessive delay minutes or holding and diversions.


This PASSUR solution enables operators and ATC to arrive at a precise and accurate calibration of arrival and departure rates up to 16 hours in advance. It is based on a unique repository of historical flight, airspace, and airport data; an accurate and precise forecast of actual inbound demand; and a highly developed software engine that allows users to quickly match demand and performance capacity to the weather forecast and their own operating requirements.

  • Rate of arrival acceptance during GDPs
  • Departure rate associated with GDP performance
  • Total delay minutes per GDP
  • Preemptive consolidation/cancellation
  • Preemptive diversion management
  • ATC coordinators will be able to negotiate a flow rate into/out of a given airspace that conforms to a reasonably higher historical performance rate and favors the airline’s operating and business needs.
  • If the pending imbalance seems severe beyond the ability to negotiate a more favorable rate from ATC, the airline can begin proactively canceling or consolidating flights to prevent diversion conditions.
  • Using extensive reporting capabilities, airlines and ATC can collaboratively change the way they deploy traffic management initiatives in congested conditions based on their review and analysis of data.
  • Two of the top US airlines actively use this solution daily for their most congested hubs and airspace.
  • The rate and configuration prediction algorithms that power this solution are used in the PASSUR departure metering and sequencing programs in place at several North American airports.
  • The flight arrival prediction times are used by three of the top five US airlines to calculate arrival demand throughout their networks.
  • A major US airline that has fully deployed this solution at some of its key hubs eliminated 48,000 delay minutes associated with TMIs in one year, 27% over its annual goal.
  • During one trial of this program, an airline’s dispatchers successfully increased the rate of arrival during a GDP at an airport by a factor of four flights per hour. To do so, they compared the runway configuration during a previous GDP under identical weather and operational conditions to the lower-rate GDP and advised ATC of the discrepancy; the rate was raised immediately.