CONTROLLING CHAOS – SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT
The objective of the Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) project is to improve the efficiency of airport operations at busy airports. The primary focus is on reducing aircraft holding delays at the runway holdingpoint. This results in substantial saving of aviation fuel along with a reduction in carbon emissions. This is achieved by improving the decision-making process by sharing the relevant processed information among aviation stakeholders.
AAI took up its first A-CDM project development for Mumbai Airport. All the project activities viz. software development, network design, hardware planning, live testing, implementation and software maintenance were entirely undertaken by AAI’S in-house team.
The concept of A-CDM evolved in Europe, which was later included in the ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrade (ASBU) blocks B0-80 and B1-80 for implementation at all busy airports across the globe. The Government of India’s National Civil Aviation Policy also mentions the need of A-CDM implementation at all major Indian airports for promoting sustainable aviation by reducing congestion. In-line with these guidelines, AAI took the initiative to implement A-CDM at Mumbai Airport, which has been operational since December 10, 2015. Presently, the A-CDM project work is in progress for Chennai and Kolkata Airports.
At busy airports, witnessing a long queue of departing aircraft at the runway holding point waiting for take-off, is very common. Often, this figure at Mumbai Airport would touch 12-15 aircraft. In the normal course of handling, there is a concept of one arrivalone departure in single runway operations. In such a situation, a second departure can go after a minimum gap of 2.5 minutes and the last departure may have to wait for more than 30 minutes. The waiting aircraft are burning fuel, destroying the environment, increasing RT (Radio Telephony) congestion and controllers’ workload.
The A-CDM System overcomes these problems by providing a solution based on shared information among the stakeholders. For regulating departures, TSAT (Target Start-up Approval Time) is issued to the departing aircraft. Start-up clearances are issued by the ATC as per TSAT, rather than EOBT (Estimated Off Block Time). Airline operators are provided with an application interface to submit changed EOBT, i.e. TOBT (Target Off Block Time). The system takes cognizance of revisions every three seconds and provides changed TSATS to users through an HMI (Human Machine Interface). The use of A-CDM has reduced the waiting queue at holding point to two-three aircraft.
For arriving aircraft, ELDT (Estimated Landing Time) and EIBT (Estimated In Block Time) are provided to all stakeholders. In addition, “arrival on finals” are shown separately to help airlines and airport operators manage resources optimally.
NOTABLE FEATURES OF A-CDM AT CSI AIRPORT, MUMBAI
The system decides the departure sequence and automatically calculates TSATS. The TSATS are dynamically reallocated for optimum capacity utilisation. Fine adjustments are done by the system by looking at approaching arrival pressure vis-à-vis departure pressure. The TSAT times are colour coded for fast and easy compliance. TSATS are shown in green colour when they fall in +/- five minutes from current time. At ‘TSAT+5’ minutes TSAT turns red, implying that the aircraft operator needs to change the
An ATCO using A-CDM interface