TITAN The Book – Going Beyond A-CDM

On 22/04/2013, in Bookshelf, by steve

TITAN_The_bookTITAN was an EC 7th Framework project which looked at ways of further optimizing the turnaround, a kind of Airport CDM on steroids. During the project it became very clear that although Airport Collaborative Decision Making had been around for quite some time already, a lot of people still did not have a good understanding what it was all about… In the circumstances, talking about further enhancing A-CDM looked like a pretty hopeless exercise, certainly outside the relatively small circle of those in the know.

Since TITAN was also talking about involving new, often off-airport partners, in the optimization process, the need to provide good, easily accessible and understandable knowledge about the subject of CDM in general and TITAN in particular became even more evident.

Our proposal to write a book on CDM and TITAN, in a style that is more enjoyable than the usual rather dry technical material, was accepted and after three months of hard work, the 75 page book was finally put on the table and accepted.

On behalf of my co-author Ana Saez and myself, I am now very pleased to make TITAN The Book available for download here.

If you are interested in a little CDM history and the elements of airport CDM, you will find all this in Part 1. Part 2 talks about how the A-CDM concept can be extended in the new ATM environment and here you can read about the exciting new world of trajectory based operation, SWIM and many other things that make use of collaborative decision making. We also touch on why the focus is on the turnaround… This then leads us into Part 3 in which TITAN is introduced and we learn how events far from the airport can actually have a great impact on the aircraft turnaround and why it is wrong to leave these out from the picture.

We have also included a high level operational scenario in which a passenger is followed from his hotel room all the way to the aircraft seat and the working of the TITAN services is explained.

I have tried to make the style of the book a bit more relaxed than the customary CDM texts in the hope that it will be attractive also for the casual aviation reader.

Get your copy here… and please send us feedback after you have looked at it.

Happy reading!


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.



A-CDM course delivered in Dubai

On 12/02/2013, in CDM, by steve

Our Airbus A340 had to be thoroughly de-iced before departure from Munich. Freezing rain was coating everything with a lethal sheet of ice and as I watched the vehicles moving around our aircraft as it almost disappeared in the steam rising from the wings and fuselage, I wondered whether the cherry-picker operators knew, or even cared, about the destination of this aircraft. After all, it was just one of the many departures from Munich that cold winter night.

It was different for me. BluSky Services had created the first Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) course for EUROCONTROL several years ago, followed by an updated version made for IATA a few years later. Our instructors had delivered this course all over the world and most A-CDM courses you find out there still have the structure and certain elements of our original work. However, this was the first time we would deliver such a course in Dubai.

The German company airsight was the contracting agent and I was traveling as director, implementation support for TotalCDM, a partner company focused on collaborative decision making in all its forms.

The course material had been updated and slightly restructured for the occasion, mainly to take account of the particular circumstances of the United Arab Emirates. Traffic demand is growing explosively in the region and flow management is practiced in a way reminiscent of Europe before the central flow management unit was established. Obviously, collaborative decision making both on the local airport level and even more on the network level is a particular challenge where air traffic control units and airports lack central coordination.

There were fifteen participants, representing Dubai Airports and Dubai Air Navigation Services with both engineering and operational folks among them. Although no airline or handling agent was represented, we tried to ensure that their particular viewpoints were adequately covered and discussed.

Click here to read the full article


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


New A-CDM Implementation Manual available now.

On 05/04/2012, in CDM, by steve

Nine years ago one of the very first projects BluSky Services won from EUROCONTROL was the writing and production of the A-CDM Implementation Manual. Having been involved in Collaborative Decision Making from the time when the concept was first put forward by the original CDM Group in the US (led by US Airways), this task was a natural.

Now in its 4th edition and no longer under the purview of BluSky, the A-CDM Implementation Manual remains an essential reference work for anyone involved in CDM on any level.

Of particular interest in the 4th edition is Attachment 7 which talks about A-CDM in adverse conditions and provides an impact assessment, processes and best practices based on a detailed study produced by the Adverse Conditions Expert Panel.

You can get your copy here.


Collaborative Departure Queue Management (CDQM) – What is this?

On 26/12/2011, in Buzzwords explained, by steve

Although the concept of Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) originated in the US, Europe did leapfrog ahead with its initiative called Airport CDM (A-CDM). A-CDM has been implemented at a number of European airports with varying degrees of success and it seems that the momentum of implementation has slowed somewhat. On the other hand, most everybody agrees that A-CDM, if done properly, does bring the benefits predicted by the early cost-benefit analyses.

While A-CDM has several elements, practically all the benefits arise from the shared information and resulting better decisions while the chief conceptual basis of A-CDM is embodied in the milestones approach. The milestones are in fact defined events and corresponding statuses that must be achieved at defined times as the flight is going through the turnaround process. The turnaround process is then managed proactively by all the parties involved who share the same view and understanding of the process and the consequences of not meeting a given milestone. In fact, the purpose of A-CDM is to make the operation more predictable which reduces unnecessary queuing at the runway.

Of course things did not stand still in the US either. While the basic principles of the A-CDM concept have been adopted it was necessary to steer developments in a direction that took account of the fundamental differences between Europe and the US environment. These concern mainly the more active role aircraft operators play in assigning and controlling airport resources like gates and ramp areas as well as the availability of the FAA Command Center which, unlike the CFMU in Europe, has real authority to dynamically manage the National Airspace System.

The FAA has developed a Surface CDM Concept of Operations which provides the overall framework for CDM implementation in the airport context, much like the A-CDM Concept of Operations does in Europe. Collaborative Departure Queue Management (CDQM) is one element of the Surface CDM Concept, which has actually been tested in the US (in Memphis among others).

Click here to read the full article


A-CDM eLearning Modules from EUROCONTROL

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

The free eLearning modules introduce Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) and the challenges involved in introducing A-CDM in practice.

The first module, “Introduction to Airport CDM” is dedicated to anyone who would like to get an overview of what Airport CDM is, and is ideally suited for Managers with limited time. Detailed modules explaining the various elements of Airport CDM dedicated to managers implementing CDM at their airport is available for everyone here, after registration.

Also for the first time this eLearning course addresses all operational staff via specific modules dedicated to each airport partner. These include modules for airport operators, aerodrome controllers, aircraft operators’ ground staff, pilots and ground handlers. Registration is required but otherwise the modules are available for anyone.

Interviews of operational staff were carried out at their working positions. These interviews refer to the CDM milestone processes at their airport and with examples taken out of daily tasks, demonstrate how CDM changed their working practices and helped them to become more efficient.

The A-CDM eLearning course is aimed to become a useful tool for the challenging task of communicating CDM principles and the training of operational staff, related to their specific role in a CDM environment; helping them to develop a proper understanding so as to make the required cultural changes.


Airport CDM officially launched in Madrid Barajas Airport

On 24/08/2011, in CDM, by steve

The Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) Project in Madrid-Barajas Airport (AENA) was officially launched on 26 July 2011 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the main stakeholders, AENA, AENA Aeropuertos Sociedad Anonimo and Iberia. The signing ceremony took place at Madrid-Barajas Airport Headquarters and was hosted by the AENA Aeropuertos Sociedad.

The signing of the MoU confirms the commitment of the partners at Madrid-Barajas Airport and will lead the way for wider implementation at other Spanish Airports. The benefits to the airport partners are significant both at local and network level as proven by other European airports who have fully implemented Airport CDM (Munich, Frankfurt, Brussels and Paris CDG).

Airport CDM aims to enhance the current decision making processes linked to the turnround process of aircraft and increases airport efficiency. It is a powerful enabler to reduce the delays in Europe by integrating airports into the ATM network.

SESAR has acknowledged the importance of A-CDM as an enabler to achieve the challenging SESAR/EC performance objectives.

The EUROCONTROL A-CDM Implementation team is committed to working in close cooperation with Madrid Barajas and other European airports providing support and advice to accelerate A-CDM implementation across Europe.


CANSO joins ACI-Europe and EUROCONTROL to accelerate A-CDM roll-out

On 13/10/2010, in CDM, by steve

The threat of climate change, the global economic crisis and the resulting changes in the structure of the European aviation market have led to a renewed focus on efficiency and performance for Europe’s airports. In October 2008, ACI EUROPE and EUROCONTROL signed a collaboration to increase operational efficiencies at European airports.

This collaboration revolves around the implementation of an innovative operating practice called Airport Collaborative Decision-Making (A-CDM) which allows airports into the Air Traffic Management network and vice versa. This gives users access to a range of operational data allowing them to make their operations more efficient.

Successful implementation of A-CDM leads to significant reduction in CO2 emissions, which in turn helps airlines save fuel.

At the 5th Annual ACI EUROPE Airport Exchange, CANSO – the global trade body for Air Traffic Management – joined this partnership, giving the initiative even more momentum.

Over the last 2 years, the A-CDM program has made great progress with more than 30 airports so far engaged in implementing it.

Click here to read the full article


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