NEST modelling tool8 is a scenario-based modelling tool used by the EUROCONTROL Network Manager and the Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) for:
- designing and developing the airspace structure,
- planning the capacity and performing related post operations analyses,
- organising the traffic flows in the ATFCM strategic phase,
- preparing scenarios to support fast and real-time simulations,
- and for ad-hoc studies at local and network level.
NEST is used to optimise the available resources and improve performance at network level. Upon request to Eurocontrol,9 access can be granted at no cost. Installation is straight forward (only under Windows though). First of all, remark that one should select an available airac cycle. Up to date airac cycles are available to be downloaded within the NEST settings. Nest includes three blocks with data to visualise, namely: airspace data, network data, and flight data:
Figure 13.5: Nest: Airspace design.
- Airspace data: Nest includes capabilities to visualise many elements conforming the airspace structure, including for instance the FIR/UIR regions; elemental ATC sectors; airports; navaids and waypoints. Figure 13.5 illustrate these features.
Network data: Nest also includes information on the network of routes, including different types of airspaces (e.g., free routing airspaces), regulations that apply (e.g., RAD regulations).
Figure 13.6: Nest Flights in Europe for January 25th 2014.
Flights data: Furthermore Nest includes detailed information on flights (historical by default; however one can also download and display forecasted traffic or even create an scenario of trafffic). For instance, Figure 13.6.a presents all flights in a day in Europe. In this particular case, in January 25th 2014, we had 19359 flight in Europe. These flights can be analysed in depth, e.g., by filtering all those going/coming to/from the US (642 flights) as illustrated in Figure 13.6.b; all those that are flown using a B-738 (3204 in total) as illustrated in Figure 13.6.c; and all those that depart from London Heathrow (EGLL in ICAO’s terminology) as illustrated in Figure 13.6.d.
Figure 13.7: Nest Flight analysis capabilities.
For each particular flight, one can analyse the following information: the horizontal route, including origin and destination airport, overflying sectors, waypoints, airways, times, etc, for which one should use the Flight Route Viewer (see Figure 13.7.a); the vertical profile, for which one should use the 4D Vertical Profile Viewer (see Figure 13.7.b). Note the reader that Nest allows to compare planned flights with actual (really flown) flights as in Figure 13.7.b. Also, allows to compare regulated flights with both planned and actual flights. This can be observed in Figure 13.7.c, where a flight has been regulated: the difference between ETOT (Estimated Take-Off Time) and CTOT (Calculated Take-Off Time), 36 minutes in this case, results in the delay imposed by ATFM. Another feature is the analysis of airspace sectors, in which one can analyse the entry flights and occupancy counts among other issues. An example with the flight list in LECM UIR is given in Figure 13.7.d.
9. Access EUROCONTROL One Sky Online (Extranet - https://ext.eurocontrol.int/); select "Subscribe for online services" and select DDR2. The request will be processed and access might be granted; access DDR2 home page and select Tools Download tab Select NEST, download the package and install it.