Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) is an operating procedure aimed at improving airport efficiency, punctuality and the predictability of events as well as optimizing the use of resources. This procedure calls for enhanced collaboration between participant airports and provides for complete process visibility, access to constantly updated, better quality, unequivocal data and the standardization of all procedures and communication as to reduce any possible error source.
In this programme, based on an information exchange platform, all flight phases, from departure to landing, are considered a “single process” which ensures the optimization of air traffic management and ground handling operations.
Thus, the A-CDM project represents a transition in “turnaround” management operational methodology from “First come - First served“ to “First ready - First Served”.
In order to plan pre-departure sequences, one of ACDM’s primary requirements is to define the “Target Take Off Time” (TTOT) in the most accurate possible manner as to improve “en route” and “sector” planning on the part of the European ATM; this objective may be obtained by implementing a series of DPI (Departure Planning Information) messages and “FUM” (Flight Update Messages) which are then sent to the NMOC (Network Manager Operations Centre).
In this manner Airport CDM procedures may be considered as a basis for linking the airport and the ATM system.
The Airport CDM procedure was implemented through the introduction of processes based on the following five elements:
- Milestones Approach (Turn-Round Process)
- Variable Taxi Time (VTT)
- Collaborative Pre-Departure Sequence
- CDM in adverse weather conditions
- Collaborative Management of Flight Updates
A-CDM procedures begin with the transmission of ATC flight plans 3 hours prior to EOBT (Estimated Off Block Time) and continue through 16 milestones which describe the flight status in all of its phases prior to takeoff (ATOT - Actual Take Off Time).
A-CDM is an integrated platform that transmits information on the status of all departing flights in real time to the EUROCONTROL Management Operations Centre which, in turn, transmits this information to other partner airports. In this manner, it is possible to optimize air traffic flow, airport capacity management, the use of airport infrastructure and human resources in addition to increasing flight punctuality, reducing fuel consumption as well as its related environmental impact.