Airports India - - AAI’S PROJECT A-CDM: -

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.


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

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