Heathrow announces measures to further improve operations
Posted: 18 June 2012 | Heathrow Airport | No comments yet
Heathrow has announced the launch of a new initiative to further improve the airport’s operational efficiency…
Heathrow has announced the launch of a new initiative to further improve the airport’s operational efficiency, reduce delays and improve flight punctuality for the 70 million passengers that pass through its doors each year.
Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) is a concept being launched at the UK’s only hub airport. A-CDM enables Heathrow’s partners, including airlines, ground handlers, air traffic control and airport staff to share the latest and most accurate information about the status of inbound and outbound flights, enabling better-informed, more consistent decision making. Heathrow is an airport operating at 99.2% capacity, so operational efficiency is vital.
By using A-CDM the life-cycle of each flight can be divided into 16 stages, showing the progress of each plane as it comes in to land, throughout its turnaround and subsequent departure. This means operational staff at the airport can calculate more realistic timings for each flight, reducing the duration of taxi times and potentially reducing delays. Alerts are generated automatically if an aircraft looks likely to miss its slot, so airport staff can react swiftly.
Increased efficiency means that the number of minutes aircrafts spend taxiing on the airfield is reduced, cutting the amount of fuel which is burnt. With 1,300 flights a day at Heathrow, that could mean a saving of up to 30,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
As well as sharing data across Heathrow, A-CDM will also share information with airports across the European network. To achieve this Heathrow has an automated data exchange in place for both departing and arriving flights. This will help to improve network predictability and reduce delays across Europe.
While many other European airports plan to implement A-CDM in the future, Heathrow will join Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt, Munich and Brussels as one of the first European airports to fully implement this initiative.
Tim Hardy, BAA Director Airside, said “With more than 1,300 flights every day, it’s crucial that we continue to look for ways to improve operational efficiency and thereby enhance passenger experience. A-CDM is about more than technology, it’s about behaviour change. It relies on every area of the airport’s operations working collaboratively to share information in pursuit of this common goal. We are excited to be launching this revolutionary new system and look forward to seeing the results.”
John Proudlove, NATS GM for Heathrow, said: “With CDM, air traffic controllers are able deliver a more efficient operation based upon accurate, comprehensive airfield information. This technology not only allows us to optimise our interface with other service providers at Heathrow, but also supports greater harmonisation with the en route and European ATC networks.”