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Linking Existing ON Ground, ARrival and Departure Operations

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Infrastructure Node
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Nowadays airports are facing the challenge of constantly increasing air traffic. A challenge that requires procedures and systems that can guarantee the safety and the efficiency of the operations. Better prediction of flight behaviour and enhanced management of available resources becomes essential.


The main problem that LEONARDO intends to solve is the lack of coordination and efficiency in the context of Airport Arrival, Departure and Ground movement and operations, which leads to unacceptable amounts of delays and operating costs. It is foreseen that the airport and its surroundings will become the main limiting factor of the whole ATM system.


The main objective of LEONARDO is to define the method and demonstrate the feasibility of integrating existing tools for arrival, surface and departure planning management, together with those derived from the stand allocation management and the turn-around management. This objective will be achieved by performing a full-scale integration of these tools at Barajas and Charles de Gaulle airports under real operating conditions.
This integration will enable: 

  • Exchange of information between tools. Already existing information somewhere in the system will be distributed to additional actors / tools. 
  • Co-operation between tools and actors to improve individual planning processes and its estimates as well as the global efficiency of airport operations. As far as possible, tools will take into account requests and constraints from their 'neighbours'.

The implementation of tool negotiation processes through a Collaborative Decision Making Multi Agent (CDMMA) benchmark will complement the study and will be a step further towards an integrated system. Existing planning processes will be modified to take into account priorities of other actors. If all actor priorities can not be taken into account, the negotiation process will be launched.


The solutions proposed by LEONARDO, as explained in the previous section, include an integration of airport systems that will be used by different actors and a set of procedures that impulse the collaboration between such actors. The objective, as stated above, is to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed solutions.
Thus, the approach defined by the LEONARDO Project to achieve its objectives is a twofold approach. On the one hand, there is a need to define the scope of the validation, i.e. the
expected benefits that will be investigated to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed solution and the means that will be used for it. On the other hand there is a need to define, specify the integrated systems and the procedures that are proposed as solutions to the stated problems, and to develop the systems. Both approaches have to be in parallel, and co-ordination and interchange of information are needed:

  • The benefits expected depend on the solution (system and procedures) that is proposed.
  • The definition of the validation scope will help to decide the validation techniques to be used and, thus if there is need to develop any system.
  • The validation design and the development of the needed systems for the trials have to be co-ordinated.

LEONARDO project has been structured in seven work packages:

  • The concept and system definition and the system specification have been performed by WP1 Requirements and tool specifications:
    The operational concept defined by LEONARDO (see section 2.1) was defined from a general point of view. Taking into account the operational concept proposed by LEONARDO a 'Common Integration Model for Experimentation' was defined and specified [D1.1]. This model should be considered as a medium-term (2005-2010) integration model of the different airport planning tools. From the common integration model a description of the local implementations at each site were performed, adapting the common model to the different contexts and circumstances of the two selected airports [D1.2]. The objective was to detail the functional requirements specifications of such integrations, at Madrid-Barajas and Paris-CDG airports, and to compare each functional requirement specifications between each others and with the Common Model. Finally, the technical specifications for the two airports implementations were identified [D1.3].
  • The definit


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN)
Type of funding
Public (EU)


The three LEONARDO experimentations demonstrate the benefits sensed before the beginning of the project. The results will serve the airport authority, airline and ATC community to define better ways for airport operations. There has been an improvement on the efficiency of the main airport operation events:

  • Improvement of the Arrival Prediction (in-block event): Predictability has been improved. In addition, with the system there is no need to have people mentally estimating in-block times. The improvement of predictability leads to an improvement on the reliability of theinformation for the users. This will increase the decision-making time horizon to resolve stand conflicts.
    • Better time estimates are known in advance. This makes possible that stand conflicts can be solved before the aircraft lands.
    • Most interested actors: Airline and Airport Operator.
    • The improvement in predictability is higher and more useful from the users point of view in not nominal conditions situation (e.g. holding in TMA).
  • The turn-around process:

    • There is increased reliability of the TOBT, which is calculated taking into account the airline information. The airline knows arrival delays which can influence a next departure.
    • The airport operator needs as much information as possible from the status of the flightsat stands. By the predictability improvement demonstrated by the MIBT and TOBT, the airport operator decision-making process will be improved.
  • Departure Prediction:
    • The TOBT estimation can be the basis to plan departure sequence and start-up sequence.
    • The airport congestion and delays can be managed through the start-up sequence. There is more information for Start-up clearance: LEONARDO has shown to improve the decision making of Air Traffic Control, informing the controllers, for example, on late arrival affecting the corresponding departure flight or on regulated aircraft which are late to comply with their CFMU slot.
    • It can be derived from the results that a certain improvement in the CFMU regulation canbe found: MTOT has been demonstrated as a better prediction of the take-off time. However, much of the predictability of the take-off time depends on the estimation of the off-block time

      Technical Implications


      • The Airport CDM information system should not anymore consist on developing another integration solution but providing a flexible and reliable integration layer, so that the update of any planning and management candidate tool can be performed easily.

      • The integration layer should acts as a Hub System which centralises and consolidates all the information exchanges.

      • The message as the exchange information mechanism allows a strong independence between the different planning and management tools. A common format of message within the integration layer should be used to limit the effort of the information transformation.

      • The integration layer between the different airport planning and management tools could implement workflow services, based on business rules triggered when processing the messages received.

      Policy implications

      From the experience learned during the LEONARDO project, from the design and implementation phase up to the performance of the trials and the analysis of results, and looking to the future, a number of recommendations have been identified. Technical recommendations, addressing the system design and implementation, have been differentiated from functional recommendations, which address the operational use of the systems.


      General recommendations

      • Necessity of a common terminology: early in the project it was decided to agree on a Common Terminology which was emphasised by the fact that CDM involves actors that have different terminology. When building the acronyms, we defined an easy-to-remember pattern that all of the acronyms shall follow. This made the acronyms easy to guess (no need to remember all of them). In addition this pattern defined makes this Common Terminology scalable. It avoided much confusion within the project and only few meetings were needed for every partner to get used to it. It is important to share a Common Terminology at the European level among all the stakeholders: ATC & ATFM, Airport Authority, Aircraft Operators and Handlers.
      • The systems used in the LEONARDO project provide a unique opportunity to continue and extend the experiments in certain directions. First of all the results of this validation can be used for a next cycle in the conceptual design of CDM planning systems and operations. The planning and management tools can be improved with the knowledge gained. New operational procedures can be designed, including pilots and airline / airport operators in the CDM loops.
      • LEONARDO has only involved one airline per airport for the trials. Iberia and Air France airlines were selected at Barajas and Charles de Gaulle airports respectively, because of being the main airlines at these airports. Time should be dedicated to explore the need to involve other airlines in the CDM processes defined and which benefits could be obtained.
      • All expertise and planning tool automation is available in the LEONARDO consortium to gather more statistics and to expose the concepts to more controllers, scenarios and experimental conditions. The CDM concepts could be further detailed when exposed to more controllers. More trials will reduce the familiarisation effect and produce better evidence for the benefits of CDM.

      Technical re


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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