All across Europe, different types of Airport Traffic Management Systems (APTMS) are used to manage the various aspects of airport traffic. These include airport stand allocation, airport/airline ramp management and arrival/departure scheduling/sequencing systems. In addition, several specific automation tools are currently under development to support functions such as surface movement guidance and control. However, little effort is directed towards real integration of these systems so as to maximise the performance of the overall airport system.
The project's main aim was to define and demonstrate the feasibility of integrating and co-ordinating the various components of existing or future APTMS. The specific aims of the project were to:
- analyse the user needs for integration and co-ordination of the APTMS functions;
- design a method for integration;
- analyse the decision making process;
- design and demonstrate an open architecture to support the method for integration.
A generic functional and architectural model of an airport co-operative management system has been designed. A demonstrator to evaluate representative aspects of this system has been developed as well as a validation strategy, which has been used to perform a limited evaluation of the operation of the demonstrator.
The project has made clear the lack of standardisation of airport traffic management systems, operation and technology.
The DAVINCI solution proposes significant improvements in the operational area of air traffic management:
- all planning data are shared and could be made available to all of the other planners and operational positions, improving the information available and supporting the consistency checking of the information;
- information about the current situation as well as forecasts to support the decision making process within planning activities are computed and provided to operators;
- the ability to change the planning priority between different planning tools is provided, thus adapting the overall planning to the specific traffic situation in real operation.
In addition, the proposed solution is independent of the technological implementation (e.g. the Intranet could also be appropriate) and independent of the planning tools, thus providing a high-level of flexibility and adaptability to the existing tools at each airport.
The demonstrator is available and can be adapted to other airports, although a complex tuning process would be needed due to the large number of parameters that would need to be adapted to the specific configuration of each airport. The evaluation made by comparison to a real operation could only be made subjectively, since a real operation does not include taxi, pushback and stand allocation planners.
DAVINCI has made a start in improving traffic management at airports by proposing flexible, tool-independent co-operation among the planning tools used in airport operation. Since the project is directed at operational use several years in the future, its findings are of more immediate interest to the Air Traffic Management research community rather than to airport operators.
The project information can be used for further research, in particular to compare DAVINCI plans with real airport operations, and to assess and standardise the proposed set of forecasts and indicators. The project demonstrator can be integrated into complex validation platforms that are under development or planned in other research studies