A-CDM Impact Assessment report published - A-CDM family increases to 20

- Brussels, Belgium.

Earlier this month Milan Linate airport became the 20th fully implemented A-CDM Airport. In taking this important step Milan Linate has joined the family of airports fully integrated into the European ATM network.

These airports currently represent 28% of departure traffic in the Network Manager area. By the end of 2016, EUROCONTROL, as Network Manager, expects to have integrated three more airports, representing a total of 32 % of departure traffic, with further airports bringing the number to 47% by the end of 2017.

Milan Linate is the fourth Italian CDM airport, joining Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa and Venice Marco Polo. Naples will be the next, in mid-2017. The strong presence of General and Business Aviation at Linate, which is quite challenging in terms of predictability, has required additional effort in the tuning of the system and operational procedures.

The other A-CDM airports are: Barcelona, Berlin Schoenefeld, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Helsinki, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Madrid, Munich, Oslo, Paris CDG, Prague, Stuttgart and Zurich.

A-CDM Impact Assessment report

In March Eurocontrol published a report, A-CDM impact Assessment. The report presents an up-to-date evaluation of the impact of A-CDM implementation at local/airport level as well as at network level considering 17 fully implemented CDM airports. 

Below you can find the executive summary from the report and at the foot of this article there is a link to the complete 160 page report.

Executive Summary

The Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) is a EUROCONTROL concept which has now been implemented at 18 European airports. Over 34% of ECAC departures now originate from a CDM airport and transmit improved pre-departure take-off time estimations to NMOC via Departure Planning Information (DPI) messages. CDM airports realise significant local operational benefits through the adoption of A-CDM processes, not to mention a dramatic improvement in levels of takeoff predictability. This improved predictability is an enabler for a safer and more efficient European ATM network.

The objectives of this study have been to collect evidence from 17 CDM airports so that:

  1. The local benefits enjoyed by CDM airports could be collated and communicated within airport specific A-CDM factsheets. 
  2. The outcomes of the previous EUROCONTROL A-CDM network study [Ref-1] could be refined. 

From a local perspective, the partnership with each CDM airport has allowed the local A-CDM impact assessment to be focused on generating credible operational benefits of each implementation. This included data analysis of airport and NMOC flight data as well as operational review meetings in which qualitative and quantitative benefits were relayed by airports and A-CDM stakeholders. A-CDM supports strong taxi-out time and ATFM delay reductions. The following infographic describes the total savings generated across 17 CDM airports, based on taxi-out and ATFM delay improvements.

A-CDM Impact Assessment

The impact of A-CDM on local ATFM delay should not be underestimated. CDM airports have shown a much stronger tendency for generating more favourable slots for its customers, resulting in ii | P a g e significant ground delay savings. Several CDM airports showed tactical delay cost savings amounting to near €1 million in 2015, including some of the lesser constrained CDM airports such as Prague, Venice and Milan Malpensa.

Local benefits that have been confirmed as part of the study (but not necessarily existing at each CDM airport) include:

  • Average taxi-out time savings between 0.25 and 3 minutes per departure. 
  • Average schedule adherence improvements between 0.5 and 2 minutes per flight. 
  • Reduction in push-back delays after start-up approval. 
  • Increased ATFM slot adherence despite increased traffic demand and ATFM regulation volumes. 
  • Improved ground handling resource utilisation. 
  • Reduction in the number of late stand and gate changes. 
  • Improved management of and recovery from periods of adverse conditions. 
  • Reduction in Flight Activation Monitoring suspensions. 
  • Increased peak departure rates at the runway. 
  • Dramatically improved take-off time predictability – typically by as much as 85% during adverse conditions. 

The realisation of local benefits depends on the characteristics of the airport and the extent to which A-CDM procedures are adopted. However, this study has shown that even the lesser constrained airports stand to benefit significantly from A-CDM, particularly during periods of adverse conditions.

Assuming a full implementation cost of €2.5 million and annual maintenance costs of €150,000 - this study has shown that on average, A-CDM provides a return on investment after 18 months, and a cost benefit ratio (CBR) of 7 over 10 years. This considers the tactical cost savings to airline operators only and not the financial benefits enjoyed by other partners – which are more difficult to verify. Clearly, a full cost avoidance analysis that includes the benefits enjoyed by ANSP, ground handlers and the airport operator would generate a significantly higher CBR.

From a network perspective, this study investigated how the continued implementation of A-CDM would impact the European ATM network in terms of safety, enroute capacity and ATFM delay. It concludes that:

  • The standard deviation of take-off accuracy from CDM airports has reduced from an average of 14 minutes to around 7 and 5 minutes at the sequencing and off-block milestones respectively. 
  • Around 60% of flights from a CDM or Advanced ATC Tower airport would be required through an operational sector to generate a reliable and consistent reduction in over-deliveries; iii | P a g e 
  • Based on the A-CDM implementation progress in January 2016, a 2% increase in ECAC wide enroute capacity could be enabled after the integration of 2 or 3 more medium sized airports; 
  • This benefit would peak at a 3.5% enroute sector capacity increase after Europe’s 50 busiest airports become network integrated. 
  • If the average take-off predictability of currently connected airports was able to increase to the current best in class value, then an additional 2% gain in enroute capacity could be realised with the same number of airport integrations. 
  • Around 80% of the available enroute capacity benefit will be realised when the top 30 European airports are integrated (or 57% of ECAC departures are transmitting DPI). 

A historical analysis of CDM airport ATFM delay performance has shown that:

  1. A-CDM is already facilitating a reduction in average ATFM delay of 3 minutes per regulation in restrictions in which 30% or more of the flights are originating from CDM airports. This benefit increases as the proportion of flights originating from CDM airports increases through the sector. 
  2. On average, the proportion of A-CDM flights through a flow restriction needs to reach between 10% and 15% before reductions in ATFM delay are experienced. 
  3. The trends in historical ATFM delay suggest that 40 CDM airports could yield reductions in average ATFM delay of between 20% and 25%. This is compared to flow restrictions in which there are no regulated flights originating from a CDM airport. These results are consistent with the findings generated in the previous EUROCONTROL impact study [Ref-1]. 
  4. Departures from CDM airports receive less ATFM delay than non A-CDM flights through the same restriction - by an average of a 1 minute per flight. 
  5. For a flow restriction with 40% A-CDM flight participation, the probability of receiving a 40 minute delay reduces from 22% to 4% for A-CDM flights and 7% for non A-CDM flights (when compared to the same flow restriction through which no A-CDM flights are routed). 

Atlas Chase and EUROCONTROL would like to thank all participating CDM airports for their time and assistance in developing this report. It is hoped that the information presented herein will support other airports in their road towards A-CDM implementation and that the achievements of current CDM airports have been communicated objectively.

You can read the full report by following this link: A-CDM Impact Assessment 2016


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