CTOP Powerpoint from the TFMS Deployment Team

TFMS Deployment Team
Don Wolford
United Airlines-Industry Lead
CTOP FAQs for the flight operator
– CTOP is a new way of doing business.
– ATC will focus on managing the capacity of a constraint.
– Flight operators will control how each flight responds to a
constraint based on their business model.
– New data exchange connection is required.
– New policies and procedures are required.
– Planned release date is March 2014.
– Links to in-depth presentations on all CTOP functions are
included at the end of this presentation.
CTOP FAQs for the flight operator
It’s important to note:
CTOP is an example of the direction FAA is taking in TFM
(traffic flow management). Many initiatives/work packages
are underway with the core premise:
Flight operators are best able to make decisions regarding delay
and trajectory management based on their business model for
flights encountering NAS constraints.
CTOP FAQs for the flight operator
– CTOP is a new TMI, and does not replace any other TMI in the
toolbox. All existing TMIs such as AFP, ICR, GDP, etc. are still
available to traffic flow managers.
– CTOP can be used at the same time as other TMIs, much like
AFPs and GDPs are used together.
– Existing automation based on FSM (Flight Schedule Monitor) is
not supported by CTOP. CTOP automation resides in the
TFMS core.
– Flight Operators must modify or develop new automation.
What is a TOS?
– A TOS is a Trajectory Options Set-a set of trajectories
chosen by the dispatcher or flight operator, that meet
the business model of a particular flight, in response
to a CTOP TMI.
– Much like Early Intent, a flight operator may transmit a
TOS to TFMS prior to departure of the flight, whether
a CTOP TMI has been published or not.
– A link to an in-depth description of the TOS is found
at the end of this presentation.
How often can a TOS be sent?
– The dispatcher may submit an amended TOS to TFMS
at any time, up to :45 before proposed departure.
– There will be system limits: for ex. no more than one
TOS per flight per minute, or no more than five
trajectories per TOS. Exact limits have yet to be
– The dispatcher may retain an awarded trajectory in
subsequent TOS submissions by including the awarded
trajectory as the first (most preferred) trajectory in
any amended TOS.
Must all flight operators participate?
– Yes, if your flight is captured in a CTOP FCA, you
must participate, just as happens today in an AFP or
– The flight operator is not required to file a TOS. A
simple flight plan will be treated by the automation as
a “single trajectory” TOS for modeling and allocation.
– In this case, the flight will be limited to receiving
ground delay appropriate for the trajectory on it’s
filed flight plan, if it intersects a CTOP FCA.
Can a flight avoid a CTOP?
– Yes, if the dispatcher files a flight plan route avoiding
all the CTOP FCAs. Of course, this may result in
additional cost if the route’s time and fuel burn are
higher. Other factors such as mis-conex pax or crew
could add more costs.
– Flights avoiding all CTOP FCAs will not be controlled
by the CTOP, and will have no ground delay unless
captured by another TMI.
Must a CTOP flight conform to other
required reroutes?
– Yes, for example, if you have a flight to EWR or JFK
that is also included in the Wind Routes, your CTOP
trajectories must conform to that published advisory.
What is the RTC?
– One component of each TOS trajectory is RTC-Relative
Trajectory Cost-expressed as minutes. It is a way for the flight
operator to prioritize each trajectory. The most preferred
trajectory would have an RTC of zero. The next preferred
trajectory would have an RTC number that represents the
number of minutes of ground delay the flight is willing to take
in order to receive the higher priority route. If the minutes of
ground delay exceed that number, then the flight would be
willing to accept the next lower priority trajectory.
– RTC is explained in-depth in the links at the end of this
What route do I file?
– When a CTOP is active, each flight is awarded a trajectory
along with possible ground delay.
– The flight operator may accept that award, or amend the flight’s
TOS in hope of receiving a more acceptable trajectory.
– Once the dispatcher is satisfied with the award, this trajectory
must be filed. Much like RQD reroutes, ATC will use Reroute
Monitor to check for compliance with the awarded trajectory.
Flights filing anything different will be put back on their
awarded route.
Will ATC provide any route guidance?
– The basic operating concept of CTOP is that the flight
operator is best able to choose the trajectories that meet the
business goals for their flights.
– Therefore, ATC is not required to give any route guidance,
other than for compliance with other existing TMIs (such as
the NY wind routes).
– ATC may include route guidance if required by enroute
facilities (for ex. “If filing through Canadian airspace, flights must
use the Can 1 playbook route”).
– ATC may optionally provide general route guidance in the
same way as is done with ICR or UPT advisories.
When do I file?
– It is suggested that the ATCFP is filed as late as possible for flights who
submitted a TOS. CTOP will generally not re-issue an awarded trajectory
once the flight is within :45 of proposed time. Up until then, CTOP may reaward a trajectory anytime the program is run (regardless of whether
the ATCFP has been filed), or if capacity limits are exceeded for the
time a flight is planned to cross a CTOP FCA.
– The dispatcher can control this “re-award” process by transmitting a final
TOS that consists only of the awarded trajectory, and then filing the ATCFP
or by increasing the RTC on other trajectories to high values such as 999.
However, if for some reason the capacity is exceeded for that flight’s
crossing time, the flight may incur more ground delay.
What about non-TOS operators?
– If your company chooses not to build or purchase the new
automation required to submit a TOS, then the dispatcher simply
files the ATCFP, which CTOP will use as a single trajectory TOS.
Such flights will then receive ground delay based on the crossing time
of this trajectory at the CTOP FCA.
– Non-TOS operators will not be able to sub. Subbing requires a TOS.
– Dispatchers who file, cancel, and refile flight plans on different
trajectories (perhaps crossing different FCAs in the CTOP) run the
risk of receiving larger and larger ground delay on every iteration. As
slots in the CTOP FCAs are filled, ground delay will increase. Once
a flight plan is canceled, that slot may be awarded to another flight. A
flight plan that avoids all CTOP FCAs will not receive any ground
How does CTOP interact with other
– CTOP interacts with other TMIs such as GDPs or Groundstops in
the same manner as AFPs interact with GDPs or Groundstops. The
GDP/GS has priority, and if issued before the CTOP, flights in the
GDP will be exempt from control by the CTOP, and will receive a
crossing slot in the CTOP FCA based on the flight’s GDP EDCT.
– Other exemptions follow existing rules (international flights,
medevac, etc.)
– Spacing TMIs such as MIT, ESP, TMA also have precedence over CTOP
EDCTs in the same manner as they do today.
Will CTOP re-award a trajectory after
– No, CTOP trajectory allocation is limited to pre-departure only.
Once airborne, flights are subject to amended routes in the same
manner as other route based TMIs for reasons of safety and airspace
CTOP facts for ATC coordinators-Slot
– Slot subbing in CTOP can be a complex procedure. You are
encouraged to view the presentation (link on the final slide) on slot
– A TOS is required for subbing. A filed flight plan will NOT make a
flight eligible for subbing. Operators who do not TOS will need to
separately re-submit their filed flight plans as a one line TOS if they
wish to sub.
– The following slides offer only highlights of CTOP slot subbing.
– Please check with your IT department/ATC management to learn
whether your vendor provided or proprietary subbing software will
be updated to work with CTOP.
More CTOP facts for ATC
coordinators-slot subbing
– Initially, CTOP program modeling will be available only to FAA traffic
– Airline ATC coordinators will be able to view CTOP modeled and
active data if their company is connected to the TSD thin client
– No CTOP data is available in FSM, as the CTOP automation resides
in the TFMS core, with the exception of the CTOP FCAs, as they will
be defined as FSM eligible. So it would be possible to view a flight
list for each CTOP FCA in FSM.
– If you are viewing another dataset in FSM, such as an airport, CTOP
flights will appear in orange on the bar chart, as flights controlled by
another TMI, just as AFP flights appear in an airport dataset.
More CTOP facts for ATC
coordinators-slot subbing
– If your company chooses not to build or purchase the new
automation required to make slot subbing possible in a CTOP, then
all you will receive from TFMS is a flight list of EDCTs. The CTOP
FCAs will be constructed as FSM eligible, so that FSM can send this
– However, slot subbing is not possible in this case. The flight operator
is limited to receiving the EDCTs via their existing TFMS connection,
and delaying their flights accordingly.
– More information on slot subbing is available via the link on the last
slide of this presentation.
More CTOP facts for ATC
coordinators-slot subbing
– Unlike AFPs, no credit is given in a CTOP for flights canceled before the
program is issued. Instead, the total delay is based only on flights modeled
as crossing the CTOP FCAs.
– Flights initially awarded a trajectory intersecting a CTOP FCA may later be
routed out or canceled. In this case, the flight would need to be subbed to
the bottom of the flight operator’s slot list before routing out or canceling,
in order for other flights to improve their ground delay (similar to AFP
route-out procedures).
– Once a flight is canceled, it is dropped from the slot list and its slot goes
away. If the program is revised, that extra capacity is recovered in the total
delay assigned to all flights.
– Flights that have trajectories in their TOS that include routes both
intersecting and non-intersecting CTOP FCAs may offer very flexible
subbing opportunities as these flights can be subbed to a non-intersecting
trajectory while retaining full slot ownership in the FCA.
More CTOP facts for ATC
coordinators-slot subbing
– Popup flights are assigned the first available slot based on their
trajectory assignment, up to the maximum delay factor.
– If no slot is available up to the maximum delay factor, CTOP will
assign the maximum delay factor using the lowest RTC trajectory,
and the flight will not be subbable, as it does not own an actual slot.
– If the CTOP is revised, then this flight would receive a slot that could
include a penalty factor. After the revision, this flight would be
subbable if it has a submitted TOS.
Comparison Recap
Current Practice-AFP
No TOS or EI needed.
FSM (outboard from TFMS)
Users can model TMI
AFP contains one FCA
Conventional CDM data
Delay or route-out
Pre-cancels have slot
Subs affect EDCT only
No subbing between AFPs
Difficult Revision/Reallocation
TOS required for subbing.
CTOP automation (TFMS core)
View only (via TSD thin client)
Multiple FCAs in one CTOP
New data format
Trajectory and/or delay
Slots for operating flights only
Subs may affect EDCT/trajectory
Subs between CTOP FCAs
Robust auto-reallocation
In the mid-term future (3-7 years) we can expect to see:
– EDCTs replaced by RTAs (Required Time of Arrival).
– TMA/TBFM STAs containing flight operator priorities.
– Flight Object data that will include flight operator priorities such as
preferred runway for arrival/departure, prioritization in holding stacks, “tie”
preferences, gate info, and other data not expressed in the ICAO FP.
– Airborne trajectory negotiation (airborne TOS).
– Global requirements for data exchange (FlXM-Flight Information Exchange
– Capability-aware TMIs based on PBN/RNP procedures (AirPass).
Links to technical documents
– CTOP explained:
– CTOP Overview
– CTOP Assignment algorithm and Substitution Processing:
– FAA Industry Forum CTOP
– CTOP ICD (Interface Control Document)
– TFM Learning site CTOP videos:
– TFM CTOP Videos

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