The Case for Mobility Modelling in Europe

INX_Mobility Modelling

There are many performance targets for the European aviation system. It is clear that performance-based frameworks are needed and utilised, especially when decision makers need to act on legislative packages or when operational managers need to make procedural changes or decisions regarding technology in aviation. This overarching model of operations proves that any costly decision must ultimately result in an increase in performance.

Different performance frameworks look into different aspects of the European aviation framework, with varying goals that are not necessarily compatible or align in the same direction. To illustrate, the FlightPath 2050 envisions an air transport system that improves safety levels but also guarantees a time-performance for the future passengers in Europe; up to four hours maximum door-to-door travel time for 90% of travellers. This number is not arbitrary, as it corresponds to the type of experience high level experts had envisioned for European passengers. However, punctuality and efficiency metrics are mostly flight centred. Passengers are rarely considered on time performance schemes and therefore very little is known about the actual door-to-door time performance from the passenger perspective. Decisions such as ‘when’ or ‘where’ to act in achieving this goal have proven to be more challenging than initially expected.

The European Commission Single European Sky Unit is working on the Reference Period 3, which delves deeper into the performance scheme for air navigation service and network functions. This performance framework is very detailed, but unfortunately does not yet include provisions for passenger time-performance. Due to the complexity of different, non-interchangeable metrics, the KPAs and goals of the different performance schemes do not necessarily match.

SESAR and CleanSky have detailed, technical performance goals. By looking into specific technology pieces or procedures, it is clear their technologies will surely improve the performance of many concrete operational elements (e.g. runway performance), however it is unclear how much those programmes will contribute to other performance frameworks. For instance, Europe may need additional funding to ensure better technology or have a different distribution of effort across the different technology research areas.

Mobility Modelling with Mercury
It is not realistic to believe a top-down Performance Framework can rule all initiatives. Each initiative has its complexities which justify executing independently, in occasions working with different groups of stakeholders or professionals. Nonetheless, a single vision for European mobility is needed.

Innaxis and the University of Westminster have been working for over 5 years on an integrated mobility model that provides a wide range of performance and mobility metrics, for use by a variety of airlines, network managers and policy makers. This integrated mobility model is called the Mercury Air Transport model (Mercury).

Mercury is capable of modelling passenger connectivities inside the European aviation system, along with a wide range of flight and passenger prioritisation scenarios. In order to cope with this monumental tasks, Mercury uses Soft Computing techniques and it runs in a cloud-based infrastructure. Mercury has been validated by airlines and captures airline decision-making and related costs by fusing a variety of data sources. Furthermore, Mercury works within the integration of different Performance Frameworks to produce the most accurate and useful metrics for each stakeholder.



DATASET2050 presented at ACARE


DATASET2050 participation in ACARE WG1 Meeting (Brussels, June 3, 2015)

Bauhaus Luftfahrt actively participated in the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE) Working Group 1 Meeting on June 3, 2015 in Brussels on behalf of DATASET2050. ACARE’s main task is to provide a network for strategic research in aeronautics and air transport and to identifying strategic directions for aviation research and industry. The members of ACARE are organised in five working groups: (1) Mobility, (2) Competitiveness, (3) Environment and Energy, (4) Safety and Security, and (5) Resources. Within the different working groups experts from industry, science and politics meet regularly to discuss and define key topics and to monitor progress regarding mobility and air transportation related research. Three partners of DATASET2050 are part of ACARE: Bauhaus, EUROCONTROL and Innaxis. Working Group 1, in particular, is concerned with the societal and market needs and how these can be met in the future. Main objectives of the meeting in Brussels on June 3 were an update on the identification of bottlenecks within the current transport system and the respective formulation of research needs. Furthermore, three current projects within the scope of WG1 were presented: DATASET2050, DORA, and PASSME.

The DORA project starting in June 2015 (“Door to Door Information for Air Passengers”) focuses on passenger door-to-door travel and the provision of an integrated information system along the entire journey. The goal of the PASSME (“Personalised Airport Systems for Seamless Mobility and Experience”) project is to reduce passenger travel time by 60 minutes by introducing novel solutions (up to TRL6). These may include systems to provide predictive analysis of passenger flows or redesigned airport and aircraft processes that speed up the passenger journey and add to a hassle-free travel experience. Although these two projects have a different focus, both are concerned with enhancing the passenger journey and addressing door-to-door travel. This yields potential for valuable future exchange between the different partners and for the different work packages in DATASET2050.

The presentation of DATASET2050 at this particular meeting mainly focused on the work scope of work package 3, passenger demand profile. The intention of WP3 is to understand in a better way the current as well as the future transport system from the user perspective. For this purpose, travel behaviour is depicted by collecting a range of data on passenger needs and expectations for different time horizons. As depicted in step 1 in the figure, this demand is derived from a range of data sources: First, macro data, such as information on demographics or income, is collected to obtain a broad basis for the differentiation of population groups (as addressed in Blog Post #5). To introduce a transport-specific focus, passenger travel behaviour is analysed by looking at modal shares, traffic patterns and flows, e.g. travel times and destinations, as well as the availability and constitution of airport access modes. The characteristics derived from macro and transport-specific data are complemented by specific passenger attributes. High affinity for technology, for example, can be one feature that characterizes a certain type of passenger. Passengers might also place high emphasis on individualized products such as customized meals or entertainment programs during a flight.


Approach towards the derivation of distinct passenger clusters and requirements

The data is used to define specific demand profiles, i.e. to differentiate between a variety of passenger groups beyond the traditional classification of business, leisure, and visiting friends and relatives (step 2 in the figure). For example, one group may be characterized by travellers in the age group 20 to 25 with a high affinity for state-of-the-art technology solutions, travelling on a low budget to visit both friends and families across different European cities.

For each defined passenger demand profile (“passenger clusters”) requirements for the current as well as future transport system (2035 and 2050) are defined (step 3 in figure). A specification resulting from such a cluster can be the provision of aligned travel information along the entire journey. This means that all involved transport providers share information on schedules and expected delays to provide passengers with dynamic real-time information. These current and future requirements are then used to identify bottlenecks within passenger door-to-door transport and to design approaches how these can be addressed within future transport systems.







Hello & welcome!

This is the first blog post of DATASET2050:  “DATA-driven Approach for Seamless Efficient Travelling in 2050,” a coordination and support action funded by the European Commission, under H2020 Call MG.1.7. DATASET2050 is coordinated by Innaxis and we count in the team with University of Westminster, Bauhaus Luftfahrt and Eurocontrol as partners. We are also supported by an advisory board comprised of top European transport stakeholders. More info about us can be found in the “Partners page.

DATASET2050 aims to provide insights into the door-to-door European travel paradigm for the current, 2035 and 2050 transport scenarios, through a cutting edge data science approach. DATASET2050 is passenger-centric, paving the way for a seamless, user-centered and efficient, door-to-door travelling experience.

Through expert application of state-of-art predictive analytics, modelling, statistical analyses and data visualisation, with an examination of multimodal data, the executed analyses will enable the identification of European transport bottlenecks and weak areas across different scenarios. These findings will serve as a basis for the development of intermodal transport concepts, identifying possible solutions for current and future shortcomings. The insights gained through the project’s approach will highlight research needs towards the four-hour door-to-door goal formulated by ACARE.

DATASET2050’s kick-off meeting was held on 18th December 2014, and during this first month of 2015 quite a lot of different activities have been launched, among them, the current blog and website!

We will post details about the evolution of the project, including details on the events and meetings in which we hope you can contribute and benefit from the insights on door-to-door transport.

Dr. Matthias Ruete and Future Transport

Dr Matthias Ruete, Director general DG “Mobility and Transport” of the European Commission, visited Spain last Wednesday 22 January invited by Fundacion Euroamerica, which organized a lunch sponsored by Innaxis and attended by the Spanish Secretary of State for Infrastructures, Transport and Housing, Mr Rafael Catalá, and other Spanish and foreign officials, as well as by high representatives of the Spanish and European industry and members of the academia. They all had the opportunity to listen Dr Ruete highlighting the future of transport in Europe and the different challenges that the region is facing to remain competitive.

The European Commission adopted the FlightPath2050 plan to target the ambitious goal of having 90% of air travellers in Europe completing their journey within 4 hours door-to-door. Horizon 2020 research initiatives will focus on new paradigms for reducing the impact of disturbances, understanding passenger metrics and customer profiles, modelling airports and airspace and also promoting multimodal (train-aircraft) projects, among others. Reducing the percentage of income that European households spend on transport, currently around 15%, is also a challenge Europe should face in the following decades. While the fragmentation of transport services, through public and private means, is pervasive, new service and business paradigms suggest that service contracts covering a wide variety of transport means would increase the efficiency and sustainability of the provision of transport services.

Becoming environmentally friendly is also an important challenge for Europe in the next decades. From its very early stages most transport means have been powered by fossil fuels. The reason for this is the ease of use and that those fuels represent a highly concentrated, low weighted, relatively compact source of energy. The drawbacks of such a choice are that they are heavily polluting, and rely on limited energy sources. Different renewable forms of energy are being investigated and, combined with more efficient usage of fossil fuels, they will be the basis of breakthroughs on environmental impact, driven again by an ambitious European goal of between 60%-80% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2050. Of course, the Innaxis Foundation is and will be very active promoting interdisciplinary research in these fields on the coming years.

ComplexEnergy holds first workshop

Innaxis & Create-Net bring together members of the Expert Panel in Venice.

The first workshop, held on the 13th and 14th of April in Venice, proved to be successful with great brainstorming focus sessions that discussed the project´s first White Paper.

The workshop commenced with an introduction of the members of Innaxis and Create-Net, and also a detailed introduction on the ComplexEnergy initiative. Afterwards, each member of the Expert Panel that was in attendance made a short presentation about their background and vision concerning the project.

Following the presentations, the rest of the workshop advanced around four different focus sessions:

  1. Energy-related issues, challenges, and potential impact
  2. Complex Systems Methodologies and Tools
  3. Role of Complex Systems in Smart Energy Systems
  4. Relevant Scientific Communities, Possible Topics and Impacts

These focus sessions help brainstorm thoughts and ideas concerning the first White Paper that will be delivered in August. The advancements made from the workshop will be integrated into the White Paper and will continue to be developed. It is expected to have fairly thorough draft version of the White Paper around the 30th of May.

If you´d like to contact us concerning ComplexEnergy, please email .

More information can be found through the ComplexEnergy website and blog.

INOUI Final Dissemination Forum, Cologne Germany

Part of the INOUI Consortium, INX attends the Final Dissemination Forum

INOUI or, INnovative Operational UAS Integration, has had its final dissemination conference to present results and findings from the project. INOUI is funded by the 6th Framework Programme of the European Commission and, as the title alludes, it focuses on the integration of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in non-restricted airspace.

An UAS consists of one or more remotely piloted aircraft, one or more pilot stations and the command and control links as well as any other system elements. Today, UAS are used mainly for miliary missions but civilian UAS usage is expected to grow. It is estimated that Europe could potentially represent the second largest market for UAS.

If integrated properly, UAS could provide a large amount of benefits for all stakeholders. However, some challenges must be tackled such as: lack of international regulations, reliability in regulation and certification, radio spectrum capacities, along with political and public acceptance.

The INOUI project has focussed primarily on:

  • Identifying the spread of operation concepts for UAS applications
  • Identifing how the UAS can fit into the ATM System of 2020
  • Identifying how UAS can benefit from SWIM
  • Identifying the safety issues related to UAS and developing high level safety objectives and requirements,
  • Identifying potential airport types for UAS operations

Paula López-Catalá is the primary researcher from Innaxis. She has been working on the INOUI project principally on Work Package 4 lead by Boeing which focuses on the 2020 UAS Common Operation Picture (SWIM Enabled).

The Final Conference was assisted by Alberto Blanch and Melanie Kubik. A retrospective concerning the final conference as well as documents to the INOUI project deliverables can be found at: .

INX Founder F.J. Mancebo is chosen to be part of SESAR Joint Undertaking Scientific Committee

The SESAR Joint Undertaking is a unique public-private partnership in air traffic management (ATM) research and development founded by the European Commission and Eurocontrol with the objective of revolutionising the air traffic management in Europe.

To help with the scientific aspects of the research work programme under SESAR, the SESAR Joint Undertaking has created a Scientific Committee. Through a highly selective process, this team will help reinforce the SJU innovative and scientific approach to building the future Air Traffic Management systems and procedures. This committee is composed of an astronaut, professors, and researchers and are now part of SESAR; demonstrating the strong involvement of the Scientific Community to guarantee high level academic contribution to the SESAR programme.

It is our great pleasure to announce that our very own founder, Dr. Francisco Javier Mancebo, has been chosen to be a part of this highly respected 12 person team.

Dr. F.J. Mancebo has more than 20 years of experience in research in applied mathematics in a variety of aerospace fields. He graduated as an Aeronautical Engineer at the Polytechnic University of Madrid and later obtained his Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering in the same University. He has authored more than 15 articles published in world-class scientific journals (agreed by the Journal of Citation Reports). He specialises in systems modelling and simulation, dynamical systems theory, partial differential equations, reaction-diffusion problems, waves in fluids, 4D trajectory analysis and trajectory prediction for air traffic management purposes and related problems.

Dr. F.J. Mancebo has developed an intense research activity in the last years in the air transport sector, culminating with the co-founding of The Innaxis Foundation and Research Institute at the end of 2005. Since then, Dr.Mancebo has acted as Scientific Advisor for The Innaxis Research Institute collaborating in all the research activities of the Institute, focussing in developing a scientific research agenda in the context of air transport for the Institute.

As part of the Scientific Committee, the team will focus on:

  • the scientific analysis of SESAR from different angles: economics, human factors, statistics, mathematics, computer science, physics, technology;
  • the liaison between SESAR and the academic and scientific communities across Europe including education of the future SESAR interested engineers & scientists and
  • the scientific value of the SESAR results.

In reference to the newly formed Scientific Commitee, Patrick Ky, Executive Director of the SESAR Joint Undertaking states, ¨Having these personalities on-board will enable SESAR to build on sound scientific foundations. Thanks to the contribution of the Scientific Committee, SESAR JU will establish strong links with academic institutions conducting applied research of relevance to us. We strive for an innovative approach at SESAR and the input of the Scientific Committee will stimulate the technologists and engineers to think out of the box and deliver breakthroughs in ATM research.¨

Innaxis prides itself on interdisciplinary, collaborative research, and continues to bridge the gap between science, policy making, and implementation. We look forward to the future achievements of the SESAR Joint Undertaking Scientific Commitee as Dr. F.J. Mancebo carries on the same Innaxis core values in the roadmap to ATM research advancement.

A transport network is a complex network- TEN-T Policy

On the 14th and 15th of October, the European Commission held a stakeholder conference to review the trans-European transport network policy. Important input was contributed for the drafting of the Commission’s Green Paper on the future of TEN-T policy. This paper will be published in early 2009.

The transport network policy (TEN-T) is part of a wider system, TEN, or Trans-European Networks. Within the system is TEN-T, as well as TEN-E (Energy), and eTEN (E-systems). The transportation TEN-T policy is more than the sum of 27 national transport infrastructure programmes.

Transport network is linked to the environmental policy- transport strategy concerning emissions 20% of emissions, 20% renewable 20% reduction in the use of energy all done by year 2020.

As this transport policy concerns the use and dependency on oil, it is concurrently linked to the environment policy. Many substitutes are being evaluated including Bio fuels, Hydrogen and fuel cells, and electricity. However since some elements such as bio fuel isn’t considered as ´clean´ studies are still being conducted.

The completion of important cross-border high-speed railway axes is a challenging goal, especially since talks mentioned links to outside of Europe specifically Morocco-Africa. Network links to airports and ports were also placed as a priority.

As this intricate cross-border network with concern for the climate change, competitiveness, and social and economic cohesion, becomes ever more multi-faceted; the need for a complex systems network intensifies. The understanding of complexity science, which is the establishment of a complex system, is valuable when trying to complete such a demanding project.

David Perez, the director of The Innaxis Research Institute, attended the conference and believes Innaxis may be able to play a part. Spain has a similar project, Aero-Ave, which concerns constructing a network between air and land transportation. Innaxis has already submitted a proposal to contribute to the national project and is looking into what they can do on the international level.



European Commission’s SOS (Seminar on SESAR)

Eurocontrol has estimated that today’s air traffic will have doubled by 2020. Over the last decade air traffic has grown more than 50%, and Europe now has close to 8.5 million flights a year and up to 28,000 flights on busy days.

As these alarming figures will slowly become a reality, the EC has teamed up with Eurocontrol for the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) initiative. SESAR was initiated in 2004 and parallels the same concept of United State’s NextGen plan. SESAR is primarily focused on flight safety, performance (punctuality), costs, and evaluation. As more CO2 is released into the atmosphere and the price of fuel rises, the need for a single European sky becomes evermore imperative.

The Definition phase was from 2004-2008 and was funded jointly by the European Commission and Eurocontrol. As this phase is wrapping up, a seminar was held to update all key players and to address new issues.

Some key individuals that attended this seminar includes: Peter Harman-President and CEO of KLM and chairman of AEA, Daniel Calleja- EC as Director DGTREN/F (Air Transport), David McMillan- Director General Eurocontrol, and Patrick Ky- Executive Director of SJU.

During the seminar, Peter Harman, President and CEO of KLM Airlines and chairman of the AEA address the issue of non-direct flights. He mentioned that yearly the simple Amsterdam-Lyon route means +400 hours of extra flight time and 1,8 MT of CO2 compared to the potential direct flight route.

Other issues that were discussed during the seminar included: An open SES to other countries such as Africa and Eastern European countries, transferring authority from ANSPs (Air Navigation Service Providers) to a European independent body, and also the need for an increase of performance monitoring for the management of airspace resources.

As the single European sky is a complex system in which a large number of independent elements show emergent behaviour, Innaxis is working to combine its knowledge of complexity science with the goals of SESAR. Innaxis is using a number of techniques- general analytic and simulation models for a statistical analysis of real data. There is optimism that these practices will be used in the evaluation of ATM performance.

The European Union & Innaxis- FP7 calls for proposal

As the European Commission has come out with a Seventh Framework Programme, several calls for proposals have been published.

Some areas in which the calls address are: Security, Space, Health, Environment (including climate change), Food & Agriculture, Energy, Socio-Economic Sciences, and Bio refinery. In principle, Innaxis will be proposing to the fields of Energy, Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH), Security, and Environment.

The total budget for FP7, including the non-nuclear research of the Joint Research Centre, is 51 Billion euros over 7 years.

Connect with us!