Airports & air traffic management working with other aviation partners to improve European air transport

Posted: 5 November 2014 | EUROCONTROL

As a new European Commission begins work this week, European aviation industry partners are looking to underlining their commitment to the Single European Sky (SES)…


As a new European Commission begins work this week, European aviation industry partners are looking to underlining their commitment to the Single European Sky (SES).

Faced with patchy air traffic growth in the short term and significant financing challenges for the entire aviation sector, the themes of efficiency and performance have become a key focus for all industry stakeholders and EUROCONTROL. This means that the EU’s SES is a higher priority than ever before – and that ground airport capacity needs to be addressed with the same sense of urgency as airspace capacity and other SES objectives.

While the Single European Sky’s long-term airspace capacity objective remain unrelated to any airport capacity objective for the time being, EUROCONTROL and ACI EUROPE have been working together since 2008 to increase operational efficiency at airports through the implementation of a process called Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM).  This collaboration was complemented by similar agreements with airline trade body IATA and CANSO, the global trade body for Air Traffic Management.

At this year’s 9th Annual ACI AIRPORT EXCHANGE conference & exhibition* which took place yesterday and today in Paris with the theme “Best in Class Airports”, an update was released on what has been achieved to date.

A-CDM allows for real time sharing of operational data and information between the stakeholders using an airport, thus creating “common situational awareness”. This in turn improves interaction between airport operators, air traffic control and airlines on the ground, allowing for a more optimised use of scarce airport capacity, better punctuality and reduced gaseous emissions. Information is also exchanged between the airport community and the EUROCONTROL’s Network Manager, allowing increased predictability for the Network. As such, A-CDM is an important baseline for the deployment of SESAR¹.

To date, A-CDM has been fully implemented at 15 European airports welcoming 27.8% European passenger traffic – equivalent to 480 million passengers a year. While airports such as Munich, Brussels, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt airports were all early adopters of the process, Oslo Airport, Rome-Fiumicino, Berlin-Schoenefeld, Madrid-Barajas, Stuttgart, Milan-Malpensa airport and – this week, Gatwick Airport – will have all fully implemented A-CDM this year.

A further 12 airports across Europe are currently in the process of implementing A-CDM either locally or fully.    
Frank Brenner, Director General of EUROCONTROL said “A-CDM is really all about improvements in performance through cultural change and proactive partnership.  It 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 – with benefits for each player involved. 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 “Europe’s airports are leading A-CDM implementation globally. This is part of their very strong focus on performance and quality – which forms part of their strategy to boost their own competitive positions. By doing so, these 15 airports are delivering tangible benefits – including lowering their airline partners’ operating cost base by over EUR56 million a year. These increased efficiencies make the passenger experience more punctual and reduce their airlines’ environmental impact. It also allows us to sweat our assets and make the most of existing airport capacity. This is a win-win-win.”

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

To access a full list of all the European airports engaged in partial or fully implemented A-CDM, visit:

*ACI AIRPORT EXCHANGE presented jointly by ACI EUROPE and ACI ASIA-PACIFIC is the biggest annual airport industry event, grouping 5 simultaneous conferences and an exhibition, addressing the many facets and challenges of the airport business. This year’s event is hosted by Aéroports de Paris and has attracted over 1200 delegates & visitors from more than 60 countries.

1. The SESAR JU is a €2.1 billion Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research programme launched by EUROCONTROL, the European Union and industry. SESAR is developing more advanced collaborative decision making which will incorporate and share information such as passenger flows and baggage information, contributing to an enhanced global picture and a
better aviation system for all users and citizens. Visit

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