Mitigating Air Delay: An analysis of the Collaborative Trajectory Options Program


  • D. A. Pamplona Air Transportation Department, Aeronautics Institute of Technology, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil
  • C. J. P. Alves Air Transportation Department, Aeronautics Institute of Technology, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil


Congestion is a problem at major airports in the world. Airports, especially high-traffic ones, tend to be the bottleneck in the air traffic control system. The problem that arises for the airspace planner is how to mitigate air congestion and its consequent delay, which causes increased cost for airlines and discomfort for passengers. Most congestion problems are fixed on the day of operations in a tactically manner using operational enhancements measures. Collaborative Trajectory Options Program (CTOP) aims to improve air traffic management (ATM) considering National Airspace System (NAS) users business goals, particularities faced by each flight and airspace restrictions, making this process more flexible and financially stable for those involved. In CTOP, airlines share their route preferences with the air control authority, combining delay and reroute. When CTOP is created, each airline might decide its strategy without knowledge of other airline’s flights. Current solutions for this problem are based on greedy methods and game theory. There is potential space to improve. This paper examines CTOP and identifies important strategic changes to ATM adopting this philosophy, particularly in Brazil.


CTOP, collaborative trajectory options, air traffic management, ATM


Download data is not yet available.


G. Burghouwt, R. Lieshout, T. Boonekamp, V. van Spijker, Economic Benefits of European Aairspace Modernization, SEO Amsterdam Economics, 2016

Airbus, Global Market Forecast 2014-2034, 2015

Boeing, Current Market Outlook 2015-2034, 2015

V. Bamberger, M. Blondel, Mega-Aviation Cities’ Project, Arthour D. Little, 2013

Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), Air Transport Yearbook, 2014

European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL), Network Operations Report for 2014, 2015

G. Enea, M. Porretta, “A comparison of 4D-trajectory operations envisioned for Nextgen and SESAR, some preliminary findings”, 28th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences, Brisbane, Australia, September, 23-28, 2012

SESAR Consortium, Milestone Deliverable D3: The ATM Target Concept, 2007

P. Brooker, “Sesar's ATM Target Concept: Keys to sucess”, available at:, 2008

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Doc 9854 Global Air Traffic Management Operational Concept, 2005

M. Nolan, Fundamentals of Air Traffic Control, Cengage Learning, 2011

Transportation Research Board (TRB), Guidebook for Advancing Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) at Airports, 2015

M. C. Wambsganss, “Collaborative decision making in air traffic management”, in: New Concepts and Methods in Air Traffic Management, pp. 1-15, Springer, 2001 DOI:

M. O. Ball, “Collaborative Decision Making: US vs Europe”, 2015 NEXTOR Workshop on Global Challenges to Improve Air Navigation Performance, Asilomar, USA, February 11-13, 2015

European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL), Airport CDM Implementation – The Manual for Collaborative Decision Making, 2012

M. O. Ball, R. Hoffman, A. Mukherjee, “Ground delay program planning under uncertainty based on the ration-by-distance principle”, Transportation Science, Vol. 44, pp. 1-14, 2010 DOI:

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Doc 9971 Manual on Collaborative Air Traffic Flow Management, 2014

A. Kim, M. Hansen, “Some insights into a sequential resource allocation mechanism for en route air traffic management”, Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Vol. 79, pp. 1-15, 2015 DOI:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), AC 90-15 – Collaborative Trajectory Options Program (CTOP): Document Information, 2014

A. A. Aslinger, L. Martin, W. S. Leber, M. A. Hopkins, “Enabling a modernized NAS ATM infrastructure in support of trajectory based operations”, 2012 Integrated Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Conference, Herndon, USA, April, 24-26, 2012 DOI:

B. Vaaben, J. Larsen, “Mitigation of airspace congestion impact on airline networks”, Journal of Air Transport Management, Vol. 47, pp. 54-65, 2015 DOI:

P. Brooker, “A 4D ATM trajectory concept integrating GNSS and FMS?”, The Journal of Navigation, Vol. 67, pp. 617-631, 2014 DOI:

J. Klooster, K. Wichman, O. Bleeker, “4D trajectory and time-of-arrival control to enable continuous descent arrivals”, AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference and Exhibit, Honolulu, USA, August 18-21, 2008 DOI:

L. H. Mutuel, P. Neri, E. Paricaud, “Initial 4d trajectory management concept evaluation”, Tenth USA/Europe Air Traffic Management Research and Development Seminar, Chicago, USA, June 10-13, 2013


How to Cite

D. A. Pamplona and C. J. P. Alves, “Mitigating Air Delay: An analysis of the Collaborative Trajectory Options Program”, Eng. Technol. Appl. Sci. Res., vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 4154–4158, Jun. 2019.


Abstract Views: 318
PDF Downloads: 251 Untitled Downloads: 0

Metrics Information
Bookmark and Share

Most read articles by the same author(s)