A-CDM is Coming to Toronto!

On 31-08-2016, in CDM, by steve

I am sure many of you know the old saying which warns us aviation types that an aircraft must always be treated with the utmost respect or else it will turn and bite you or worse.

YYZ

When we first landed at Toronto Pearson International airport, looking around it occurred to me that not only aircraft must be treated with utmost respect, but also airports. Five runways, 99 airlines, Canada’s busiest airport, two terminals, numbered 1 and three (where was T2 I remember asking back then). A major airport by any measure and it was almost impossible to believe that BluSky Services, as a certified supplier to SITA, was being charged with the development of all the documents this big airport would need to decide whether or not A-CDM would bring them benefits. The matter was of the utmost urgency since demand at the airport is growing at a phenomenal rate and without effective measure to make the operation more efficient, the growth would be severely constrained by the lack of capacity.

We arrived on the scene with more than 15 years’ experience in CDM and this includes solid knowledge of why A-CDM is not performing as well as it might in Europe. I will not go into the details of why this is so, let it suffice to say that there is nothing wrong with the concept itself… At the same time, the folks in Toronto insisted that we should make sure their CDM would not suffer any of the same problems seen in Europe.

This work was especially interesting for us at BluSky for the exact same reason. We have not been idle during the past few years and built, based on the original CDM concept, a totally new approach which enables a much clearer and detailed look into the processes involved in CDM, their effects on the trajectories of the aircraft concerned and which makes it possible to define the solutions in terms of business services. This in turn improves scalability, functional flexibility and provides several opportunities to reduce implementation costs across the enterprise. In Europe this approach has not been taken up yet even though we had written it up in no less than two projects (Level4CDM and TITAN). But Toronto wanted this very approach, resulting in an A-CDM system that avoids the pitfalls and is the best possible version for Pearson Airport.

The decision preparation work was completed at the end of July this year, to the complete satisfaction of the airport management. A product we delivered (which was not even part of the original contract) was a Concept of Operations document (CONOPS) and this was an instant hit. It was characterized as an easy read and something that will make it clear for anyone reading it what A-CDM will bring in terms of benefits for the airport and its users. This is probably the highest accolade a 76-page document of this genre can receive… The extra work that went into this document was certainly worth it as in no time at all the CONOPS became the most important reference document for all the partners involved in the project. Everything was ready for making the go-no go decision.

Last Friday the president of the airport authority confirmed a go decision! This is of course a major success for the A-CDM team, both local and outside supporting crews and we most certainly thank all the experts from the airport, the airlines, NAVCanada as well as SITA, whose effective contribution was instrumental in this achievement.

The next step for BluSky is the development of the Functional Requirements Document (FRD), a product which will be used by the future supplier of the A-CDM system to design the whole thing. A task we are looking forward to with enthusiasm.

Compared to that very first landing, I can say I know this airport much better… like the back of my hand you might say. The five runways, two terminals, central de-icing facility, Air Canada and WestJet plans and souls, an airport where Summer and Winter temperatures range from plus 30 to minus 30, where the wind can virtually stop operations, where the five runways will be cleared in 90 minutes no matter how hard it is snowing… where the airspace on one side is under the watchful eyes of the FAA and with the Atlantic Ocean standing guard on the other… yes, this airport (like all others) deserves the utmost respect, no question about it.

BluSky has managed to create an excellent track record and we have every intention of continuing this also in the future. Who knows, the other airports in Canada might also want to sign up…

P.S. Oh yes, the numbering if the terminals. Terminal 2 was pulled down when the space for T3 was being created. The terminals were not renumbered when T3 was ready as this would have been too confusing for the passengers. This way if T2 is ever rebuilt, there will be no need to change anything.

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