Aviation partners report on roll-out of joint programme to combat airport congestion, reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions

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 Europes airports.
In October 2008, European airport trade body ACI EUROPE and (intergovernmental agency) EUROCONTROL signed a collaboration to increase operational efficiencies at European airports. This involves an Action Plan for the roll out of an innovative operational tool called Airport Collaborative Decision-Making (A-CDM). This tool allows for real time sharing of operational data and information between the stakeholders using an airport, thus creating common situational awareness, which in turns allows to optimise interactions between airport operators, Air Traffic Control and airlines on the ground. Successful implementation of A-CDM reduces delays and leads to significant reduction in CO2 emissions, helping airlines save fuel. A-CDM is also an early deliverable of SESAR. Last year, CANSO the global trade body for Air Traffic Management joined this partnership, giving the initiative even more momentum by associating a key stakeholder: Air Navigation Service Providers.

At this years 6th Annual AIRPORT EXCHANGE event, taking place in Abu Dhabi, the latest update on the Action Plan was released. 4 airports have now fully implemented A-CDM and an additional 22 airports are engaged in the process. While the 2011 target was to have 10 airports fully implemented, several external factors have slowed down implementation at some airports. These include the impact of the financial crisis and difficulties in updating and integrating IT systems a crucial enabler of A-CDM.

The 2012 target announced today is to have A-CDM fully implemented at an additional 8 airports by the end of 2012. This target effectively sees an increase of 200% and would result in 400 million passengers a year (over 25% of European passenger traffic) benefitting from A-CDM.

David McMillan, Director General of EUROCONTROL said A-CDM is a fine illustration of the way that improvements in performance can often be achieved without major capital expenditure. At the same time, A-CDM emphasises the network nature of ATM where an apparently local decision can have implications across Europe. Linking the airports to the network through A-CDM has a positive effect both in terms of capacity and predictability - which is improving the performance of all business partners. This linkage can be done by the network manager and is one of the major benefits that this function will bring to European ATM as a whole."

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE commented A-CDM is now fully implemented at some of Europes most prominent airports: Munich Airport, Brussels Airport, Frankfurt Airport and Paris-Charles de Gaulle, to the benefit of all stakeholders, especially airlines and passengers. There is still more work to be done and the level of engagement and commitment amongst European airports remains steadfast, despite challenging conditions. A-CDM is a priority for us. It is about better integrating airports and Air Traffic Management for improved performance across the board.

Graham Lake, Director General CANSO said CANSO and its member ANSPs are fully committed to working with their airline and airport partners to expedite the implementation of CDM. This is an exciting initiative which has proven its ability to deliver significant operational and efficiency improvements to all participating stakeholders. I am certain that by continuing to share our common vision, building trust and empowering all stakeholders, we will all be able to make rapid progress and share in the benefits together.

Further roll-out of the programme will continue with ACI EUROPE, EUROCONTROL and CANSO all actively encouraging new participants, through promotion of the benefits gained by early pioneers of the programme.
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