BADA: at the heart of ATM OPS and R&D systems worldwide

Angela Nuić

Angela Nuić

Project Manager at the EEC

Developed by the EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre (EEC) in Brétigny, BADA (Base of Aircraft Data) is a tool that models aircraft performances to support many functions of modern air traffic management systems.

In order to improve aircraft track predictions, air traffic management (ATM) systems must have cutting-edge modelling and simulation tools capable of faithfully reproducing the various phases of flight and aircraft performance.

Such tools make it possible to plan aircraft flows optimally in line with the imperatives of airlines and air traffic control operators. According to Angela Nuic, Project Manager at the EEC “They also help improve safety and free up ATM system capacity.”

To this end, each aircraft must be defined in terms of a precise set of parameters, a performance model. This is exactly what EUROCONTROL has been offering over the last 30 years with its mathematical model BADA.

Although aircraft manufacturer’s data on specific aircraft type performances is confidential and commercially sensitive, BADA transforms it such that aircraft models can be made available to a wide audience.  BADA has become an international reference in the field.

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A model based on trust

The BADA model is a product of the EEC’s R&D activities in the field of air traffic management and control procedures, but it has gradually been adopted by ANSPs, R&D entities and the ATM industry for use in simulations and ATC operational systems. There are now over 1,000 users from these areas.

BADA is now an international reference for the calculation of aircraft performance. To achieve this, EUROCONTROL has had to win the trust of the main aircraft manufacturers. One of the engineers puts it like this: “They have to trust us with data which is economically sensitive and as a non-commercial intergovernmental organisation, we are able to guarantee the confidentiality of their data and safeguard their interests.”

Another key element of this partnership is the specific legal framework (operating licences) governing the use of BADA, as well as the tool’s ability to transform confidential data and then make it available to the ATM community.

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Nothing else like it

The EEC is thus at the heart of a cooperative network bringing together the aviation industry, air traffic management operators and R&D entities. Angela Nuic explains the tool’s success in the following terms: “Thanks to EUROCONTROL, BADA is constantly evolving to such an extent that it now offers a performance model for virtually all aircraft types in circulation, and there is nothing else like it!”