Advanced Aviation Concepts


Concepts Beyond has established itself as a leader in Advanced Aviation Concepts.  Transitioning the current air traffic management system to an advanced trajectory approach, Concepts Beyond is working with the NextGen organization to make Trajectory Based Operations (TBO) part of tomorrow’s National Airspace System.


Current Air Traffic Management

Air traffic within the continental US is currently controlled within sectors of airspace, with localized communications and control.  Traffic management at the sector level tends to be tactical more than strategic, making aircraft tend to want to enter the system sooner (and thus wait to be served) rather than entering at a designated time with the anticipation that it will be able to be served efficiently.  This structure has served the nation well having led to a safe Air Traffic Control (ATC) system that has supported the economic growth of this country over the past century, but now limits the ability to accommodate significant increases of traffic.


Towards Trajectory Based Operations

The future air transportation system is one in which aircraft enter the system at a designated time and move throughout the system in a smooth, orchestrated fashion.  As each aircraft’s movement is planned out in advance, users get the paths they desire, minimizing  delays that would occur if conflicts were resolved as they occurred.  This is the desired outcome of Trajectory Based Operations (TBO), a major cornerstone of NextGen.


The NextGen vision is one in which pilots fly 4-Dimensional (4D), gate-to-gate de-conflicted trajectories that ensure separation standards are achieved; where distributed decision making based on complete situational awareness provides vast user flexibility.


Concepts Beyond has supported the FAA’s efforts to establish a common baseline understanding of the current state of the research and concepts for TBO and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) issues.  Concepts Beyond identified gaps in TBO and UAS research which were addressed by NextGen demonstration activities.


Datalink for 4DT Operations

In order for many of the advanced TBO concepts such as Dynamic Required Navigation Performance (DRNP) and Advanced Interval Management (A-IM) to function, 4DTs and associated complex clearances must be exchanged between the ground automation systems, airline Flight Operations Centers (FOC), and the aircraft.  New Datalink standards such as ATN Baseline 2 and Flight Objects are being developed to support the transmission of 4DTs to and from the aircraft.




Concepts Beyond is providing strategic planning, systems engineering, aviation and air traffic management expertise, metrics development, and data analysis to support the FAA with demonstration activities designed to evaluate the Datalink standards and 4DT information exchange, and to help identify potential benefits gained by the use of the use of the 4DT and clearance information.  These new capabilities can help reduce operational impacts caused by weather, high density traffic, and Special Activity Airspace (SAA) and increase operational efficiency by reducing flow restrictions, ground stops, or other traffic management initiatives.


For further information about Air Traffic Management (ATM) concepts and our support of them, please contact Concepts Beyond.