A-CDM, the new tool for improving the overall efficiency of airport operations in Latin America & the Caribbean

The A-CDM solution is a reality in Europe and a trend in LAC with airports such as GRU, MEX, BOG and LIM in the initials stages

The aviation industry is continuously growing. Every year the number of passengers are increasing and the airports are continuously working to manage capacity constraints. Building new terminals and runways is not enough. Airports should move forward to improve Airport Operational Efficiency to keep growing and be able to deal with the expected demand offering good levels of service.

EUROCONTROL has been working for several years on different initiatives to improve operational efficiency in Europe and they are extending it to different continents. ALG is working in Latin American airports to support them in the adoption of a customized model of A-CDM taking EUROCONTROL model as the basis and the example of European airports.

What is A-CDM?

“Airport Collaborative Decision Making is a way of life, not a stand-alone system”

Several inefficiencies have been identified in many airports such as low punctuality and the inefficient use of resources that generates a waste of existing infrastructure capacity and an increase in operational costs. Some of these inefficacies include low predictable operations and lack of standard procedures and automated processes. Furthermore, poor communications between different airport stakeholders and integration between their systems, as well as the lack of collaborative planning in place result in a reactive approach instead of a planned and proactive one.

A-CDM is a change of culture in the way an airport operates. A-CDM increases the predictability of operating by improving the quality of planning and increasing the situational awareness. It implies the implementation of a group of operational procedures and automated processes, based on real-time information sharing between the airport operator, the airlines, ground handlers and the air traffic controllers. It ensures that the right airport partners get accurate data at the right time improving the quality of subsequent decisions.

The A-CDM concept is used to facilitate the decision making in a collaborative way between all the affected agents to prevail the common good of operations. It changes the aircraft turn-around management to a process with different milestones to finally optimize the pre-departure sequence changing from a “first come first served” to a “best planned best served”.

0001_Figure A-CDM
General Operational benefits

All the Airport partners receive different benefits from A-CDM:

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Benefits of airport stakeholders

Other benefits include environmental improvements thanks to the reduction of taxi times that reduce the emissions of NO2 and CO2 and the nuisances.

ALG has started the process of implementing A-CDM in Latin America to improve efficiency and optimize the use of resources. In Ciudad de Mexico International Airport (AICM) big steps have already been done with the agreement by all the main actors of continuing with the project. ALG is supporting the AICM to improve the operations not only by implementing A-CDM but also with other big tasks such as the creation of a new Airport Control Centre where the different airport departments involved in the operation will be seated as well as the main airlines. In Lima and Bogota, ALG has carried out an initial feasibility analysis of the current situation including a Diagnosis, a GAP and a Cost-Benefit Analysis and an Implementation Plan. The development of new processes and procedures for the new way of working is now in the initial phases and so far the projects have been a success and many other airports in the region have shown interest in implementing A-CDM.

This is only the starting point for Latin American airports to improve their operations and ALG is promoting a network of A-CDM airports connected between them as it is in Europe for the region to fully obtain benefits and moving forward to further steps, such as a multi-nodal regional ATFM network. For ALG these projects represent a challenging new opportunity to support airports in the adoption of a new regional model for the optimization of airport operations in LatAm.

About the authors
Vladimir Coca is MSc in Telecommunication and Aeronautical Engineering and Manager at ALG.
Marina Hierro is MSc in Aeronautical Engineering and Consultant at ALG.
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