TITAN extension – what is happening?

On 26/02/2013, in TITAN, by steve

As reported earlier, the TITAN project has been extended by three months and the extra time is being used to conduct additional dissemination activities. Among these, a more detailed video on the TITAN concept is being produced and a publication entitled TITAN The Book is being written. This latter takes the reader from the early days of collaborative decision making (CDM) through a description of the new air traffic management environment’s most important features to a description of the TITAN concept and its practical application. The style is more popular than scientific and the intention is to make CDM and TITAN related information in the wider sense of the word accessible also to readers not directly concerned with this particular field of air traffic management.

A series of workshops have also been organized in Munich, Cologne, Budapest, Milan and Brussels with the aim of helping the industry learn more about what TITAN is and what additional benefits it can bring to airports what have already implemented Airport CDM (A-CDM).

Watch this space for a report on the conclusions of the workshops and access to the news video and a link to download TITAN The Book.



TITAN extended by three months

On 01/02/2013, in TITAN, by steve

Although the TITAN project was to have ended in November 2012, we are now happy to announce that a three months extension was granted by the commission. The original aims had been reached on time and all the deliverables were completed, however, some of the originally agreed budget was still available and it was decided to use this money for additional dissemination activities.

Partners were asked to come up with innovative ideas and here is what is now being planned:

TITAN comes to you: under this heading, a number of workshops will be held on location (E.g Brussels, Budapest, Cologne), enabling CDM experts and other interested partners to learn about TITAN without having to travel themselves.

Articles and scientific papers: An article will be submitted to the Journal of Airport Management and a paper will be written for the ATM Seminar 2013.

TITAN The Book: In this little pocketbook, TITAN will be described in a popular and easy to read style, putting everything into the wider airport collaborative management (A-CDM) context and the future air traffic management environment. The intention is to create a small reference work that will be usable as guidance for A-CDM and TITAN implementation questions well beyond the lifetime of the TITAN project itself.

TITAN The Movie: Based on the original TITAN project video, a new movie will be created that covers the innovative features of TITAN in more detail. The service orientation, trajectory based operations and the like will be explained showing how these features apply to TITAN.


TITAN Final Workshop

On 20/12/2012, in TITAN, by steve

Those of you who have followed the evolution of the TITAN project on the pages of Roger-Wilco will be familiar with the aims and development methodology of this trend-setting EC 7th framework project. Building on the achievements of Airport Collaborative Decision Making systems (A-CDM), TITAN had set out to show how aircraft turnaround can be further optimized to the benefit of all partners concerned. TITAN was special also because its results were considered as important input for the airport collaborative decision making related projects of SESAR itself.

After three years of intense activity, TITAN has come to an end in November, marking this milestone with a final workshop that was held in Palma de Mallorca. Before you get funny ideas about the choice of location for the workshop, I hasten to add that this beautiful Spanish resort island was picked mainly in recognition of the valuable and voluntary contribution of Palma de Mallorca airport throughout the project.

The workshop was very well attended and it was nice to see that in addition to the customary airport and handling agent experts, industry and research establishment representatives were also in evidence, a clear indication of the significance of what TITAN was aiming to achieve.

This must be an interesting presentation!

In the course of the workshop, the main features of TITAN were presented. Participants could learn how service orientation was implemented, an absolute first in European CDM, how the TITAN model was developed and validated, providing a perfect basis for checking out and shaking down the TITAN concept of operations. The development of the TITAN tool represented a partial implementation of the concept which was however plenty enough to show what a full-fledged TITAN can do to make turnarounds even more predictable and an integral part of the aircraft trajectory.

Click here to read the full article


TITAN – Questions and Answers

On 30/11/2012, in TITAN, by steve

With the TITAN project now officially closed, we decided to bring you a set of questions and answers, in case you want a quick overview of what TITAN was all about. You can find all titan documents on the official website here. The TITAN video is available here.

What is TITAN? – Turnaround Integration in Trajectory and Network (TITAN) is an FP7 funded EU collaborative project that developed an advanced operational concept for the turnaround process to improve predictability, flexibility, efficiency and cost effectiveness and to provide common situational awareness to the actors involved in the process.

How does TITAN relate to A-CDM? – TITAN is aligned with and complements A-CDM (Airport Collaborative Decision Making) as it aims for an even better management of the turnaround. TITAN will use the procedures and rules established for A-CDM supplemented by those specifically developed for the turnaround. Besides the A-CDM milestones, a set of turnaround-specific milestones have been defined to support the monitoring of the turnaround process.

How does TITAN relate to SESAR? – The TITAN operational concept is not only compatible with but in many ways is complementary to the SESAR Concept of Operations. It addresses those details that were not specifically elaborated in the SESAR CONOPS.

What are the most important new features that TITAN incorporates? – For the first time ever, the aircraft turnaround is described in a process-based, service oriented manner. The concept is built around the principles of Trajectory Based Operations (TBO) and makes full use of System Wide Information Management (SWIM) if available, while being compatible also with the legacy environment.

Click here to read the full article


The Principles of the TITAN Tool GUI

On 26/05/2012, in TITAN, by steve

The current turnaround process involves many different entities performing many different operations and letting much inefficiency to arise. This may be attributed to lacking common situational awareness; inadequate information sharing and fragmented data flows. As a result readjustment of aircraft’s target off-block time is often unavoidable. By improving common situational awareness at the airport level, delay propagation from one turnaround sub-process to another or even to the turnaround process of another aircraft can be solved timely.

The TITAN concept addresses turnaround delay causes by recognizing that the turnaround process, which includes relevant landside processes too, is an integral part of the aircraft’s business trajectory. Such delays may arise from:
– poor information sharing;
– planning deviation;
– demanding security processes.

The TITAN concept takes advantage of Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) and System Wide Information Management (SWIM) concepts to combine information from multiple sources. In this way communication between turnaround stakeholders is getting improved enabling them to improve their own planning and execution by knowing when relevant milestones have been met. The TITAN tool is expected to be installed in an airport where CDM is already implemented; by connecting it to CDM systems it receives messages as input and sends messages when appropriate.

Click here to read the full article


TITAN Kicks-off its “Integration in the Air Transport System” and Holds Fourth Progress Meeting

On 31/01/2012, in TITAN, by steve

The EC 7th Framework Program project TITAN is slowly approaching the final leg of its exciting three year circuit looking at improving the aircraft turnaround process. The TITAN partners gathered in Madrid, Spain, on 14-15 December to review progress and to kick-off WP6. I will come back on the significance of this work-package in moment.

Participation, as we have grown used to in this project, was very good and SESAR also sent its WP6 (Airport) leader for good measure.

Participants noted that the general economic malaise was also impacting the air transport industry and it was increasingly difficult to get contributions in kind from airlines and even airports as they themselves were increasingly short of resources. Nevertheless the project partners were calling on their network of experts to compensate this unfortunate situation to the maximum extent possible.

Good news came in the form of the realization that based on the outcome of the gaming exercises run in the fall of last year, only minor changes to the TITAN Concept of Operations will be required. This is important as it confirms that the project has been on the right track from the start and is also the key to the longer term stability of the work.

Click here to read the full article


TITAN – The best game in town

On 14/11/2011, in TITAN, by steve

No, this is not something new for your Wii or other gaming platform… sorry.

True, experts participating in the TITAN project gathered in Budapest’s Airport Hotel for a gaming exercise but this was serious business. The project has reached an important phase in its development: it was time to validate the services and information defined as the basis of the TITAN concept of operations.

As you will recall, TITAN is about optimizing the aircraft turnaround process by making it more predictable. This is achieved by creating a picture of the turnaround that shows much more detail than was previously the case. TITAN uses a service oriented architecture and some elements of the SWIM concept have also been incorporated. All information is shared and users access information via subscriptions and in accordance with the access rights defined as one of the characteristics of the various data elements.

Gaming is more or less what its title suggests: you get some folks together, assign them various roles that correspond to the roles in the real life environment you are trying to validate and they “play” out their role as pre-written scenarios evolve. In the case of TITAN, the whole affair started with the selected participants being asked to subscribe to the information they thought would be required to perform their roles. So, the persons acting as ground handler, airport operator, airline and ATC had to stop and think what exactly they would need to facilitate the turnaround, knowing of course that asking for too much information is both expensive and can lead to information overload.

Click here to read the full article


TITAN – a smart layer upon Airport CDM

On 17/08/2011, in TITAN, by balazs

Not so long ago, a daring fellow named Orville Wright took off from a hazy field in North Carolina with his „homebuilt” airplane. He flew an impressive distance of 39 meters, then landed. That day, the Wright Flyer made four take-offs: the Wright brothers intended to take full advantage of the good weather on their day off.

108 years later, the distances flown in public air transport grew a bit longer, but the overall target of getting the most out of the possibilities hasn’t changed. In the last decades the engineering people of the industry unquestionably did a good job: the equipment is capable of running nearly 24/7. We have got instruments that can land an airplane without any intervention of the flight crew, airport opening hours are driven by the traffic much more than by the weather, moreover, the reliability of ground and in-flight systems is increasing as quickly as their maintenance period does.

There are only two factors of the equation that have remained – and will always remain – constant, and these become the ultimate limits of air transportation capacity. These are the physical space available and the loadability of the human mind.

Space, the first constraint, cannot be outflanked, since there are only two states of a given runway, airport gate or piece of airspace in a given moment: occupied or free. However, along with the evolution of information technology, computers are continuously extending the capacity of the human brain, at least on the level of data storage and organization. In the pre-computerized era, decision making required the talent of complementing the data available with good estimations of the missing information, the aim of IT solutions is to make all relevant information available to get rid of the need for this talent.

From the late 70’s computational data management started to gain growing influence in different fields of airline and airport management. This resulted in discrete, standalone systems that were – if at all – loosely interconnected. The responsible people of the different fields of operation could not complain anymore regarding the lack of data primarily needed for decision making. But regardless of the IT efforts, the delay statistics remained proportional to nothing else but the level of traffic at the best run and equipped airports just as well as at the others without the freshest IT infrastructure.

Click here to read the full article


The significance of services in TITAN

On 17/06/2011, in TITAN, by steve

As you may have heard, TITAN is an EU 7Th Framework project working on improving the predictability and efficiency of the aircraft turnaround. Its name says it all: turnaround integration in trajectory and network. Building on the baseline to be provided by Airport CDM (A-CDM), TITAN will make the details of the turnaround process more visible on a scale much wider than anything in the past. By providing context sensitive information to the various stakeholders enabling them to anticipate problems and take remedial action not only on a timely basis but also commensurate with the problem to be solved.

You can find more information on TITAN here. This article is about a very important characteristic of TITAN, namely its service oriented architecture (SOA). You can read more about SOA here, but to recap briefly, let me say that in this approach the business aspects and the IT aspects of a system are decoupled from each other, with the business aspects driving the IT aspects and not the other way round. This is a major step in the right direction already as in the past the blessings of modern IT were often negated by the limitations they placed on what the business side was able to achieve. The S in SOA stands for “service” and these are traditionally defined for the IT part of course but even more importantly, the business level also gets its set of services. Where do we get those business services from? Usually they are puzzled out from process models but this can result in an unmanageably complex result. By using domain models to deduce a “what do we actually do” model, things are much simplified and the result is actually usable.

But what does this all have to do with TITAN?

Click here to read the full article


TITAN Mid-term Progress Meeting

On 10/06/2011, in TITAN, by steve

The mid-term progress meeting of the TITAN project was held on 24-25 May 2011 near Frankfurt at project partner Jeppesen’s European headquarters. The meeting was well attended and was of special significance also on account of the fact that TITAN was introduced for the first time to its new European Commission project officer Mr. Remy Denos.

The meeting took place in the company boardroom, under the watchful eyes of near life-size portraits of Mr. Jeppesen and Mr. Sanderson, the two icons of aeronautical information mapping and management.

Having this meeting at Jeppesen was in part indicative also of the very real progress TITAN was achieving. One of the future deliverables of the project, the TITAN Tool will be created by Jeppesen with input of the project partners of course and the time is now approaching when the tool will become more than just a paper product. Much more in fact. Users of this tool will get a uniquely focused and detailed view of the aircraft ground turnaround process, enabling them to anticipate and mitigate problems that may arise and hence avoid disruptions of the turnaround. A tool that can make this happen can save airlines a lot of money while also benefiting airports and handling organizations.

Of course a lot of work remains.

Click here to read the full article


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