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ATD-2 Field Demonstration commences Surface Departure Metering
December 6, 2017

Photograph of several people looking at a computer display in an air traffic control tower.
ATD-2 Surface Departure Metering

On November 29, 2017, the Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) Integrated Arrival/Departure/Surface (IADS) field demonstration at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) began Phase 1C operations. In this “micro-phase,” Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Traffic Management Coordinators (TMCs) at the CLT Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) and American Airlines Ramp Traffic Managers and Controllers collaboratively use the ATD-2 IADS system to meter flights departing CLT Airport. ATD-2 departure metering alleviates demand/capacity imbalances on the airport surface by advising controllers to hold some departing flights at the gate instead of having the flights wait in long departure queues at the end of the runway. Shifting some of the departure wait time from the taxiway to the gate saves fuel, reduces emissions, and gives airlines and passengers more options prior to pushback. The surface departure metering capability being demonstrated at CLT is consistent with the FAA- and Industry-developed Surface Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) concept. NASA combined Surface CDM principles with advanced trajectory-based scheduling technology to create the ATD-2 IADS system which also features multi-facility data exchange and integration capabilities and a departure scheduling interface with the FAA’s en route Time Based Flow Management (TBFM) system to provide a comprehensive IADS traffic management solution. With the introduction of surface departure metering, NASA has now deployed all capabilities planned for Phase 1 of the ATD-2 Field Demonstration. FAA TMCs and American Airlines Ramp Traffic Managers and Controllers will now use the ATD-2 IADS system in daily operations at CLT and the Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). NASA researchers are collecting and analyzing Phase 1 data and are further developing the ATD-2 IADS system to implement capabilities for Phase 2 of the Field Demonstration, which begins in the Fall of 2018. (POC: Shivanjli Sharma)

General Aviation (GA) User Forum at CLT
December 6, 2017

Photograph of a room full of people seated at tables looking at a projected image.
GA User Forum

On November 29, 2017, MITRE, the Federal Aviation Administration NextGen organization (FAA/ANG), and NASA held a General Aviation (GA) User Forum at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) focused on information sharing for GA flight operations at CLT. Additional participants included representatives from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), Charlotte Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), American Airlines, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), and corporate flight operators at CLT. An overview of the Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) Field Demonstration and the role of data exchange and integration in the ATD-2 Integrated Arrival/Departure/Surface (IADS) system was presented by NASA. The importance of information sharing for GA operations at CLT, as well as at lesser-equipped airports, was also introduced. MITRE described a prototype mobile device application (i.e., Mobile App) they have developed under FAA/ANG sponsorship. They also outlined the procedures GA pilots are using to submit an Earliest Off-Block Time (EOBT) / Ready-to-Taxi Time (RTT) in the current beta-test of the Mobile App. Feedback was gathered from pilots to better understand GA operations and their departure procedures at CLT. Specific data elements that may be available to pilots were also discussed. Pilots provided feedback on the potential usefulness of receiving each of the data elements. (POC: Debi Bakowski and Becky Hooey)

Airline Executives visit ATD-2 Field Demonstration
December 6, 2018

On November 28, 2017, NASA hosted vice presidents from United Airlines and American Airlines at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), which is the Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) Field Demonstration site. Lorne Cass (Vice President of Integrated Operations Control at American Airlines) and Tracy Lee (Vice President of Network Operations at United Airlines) participated in part of ATD-2 Shadow Session 14 where NASA researchers briefed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and airline field demo partners on Phase 1B results and what to expect for Phase 1C. These briefings were followed by a visit to the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) and Terminal RADAR Approach Control (TRACON) facilities where FAA traffic managers demonstrated how the ATD-2 Integrated Arrival Departure Surface (IADS) system was being used in daily operations. Later, the executives visited the CLT ramp tower where American Airlines traffic managers and controllers manage traffic in the non-movement (i.e., ramp) areas of CLT airport. Here, the executives saw the ATD-2 IADS system in use at five traffic management and control positions in the ramp tower. This familiarization visit was particularly significant because both executives have strong connections to the ATD-2 field demonstration. Mr. Cass has been instrumental in developing the Surface Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) concept which is foundational to the ATD-2 IADS system NASA is demonstrating in the field at CLT. In addition to duties at United Airlines, Mr. Lee serves as co-chair of the NextGen Advisory Committee Subcommittee (NACSC) which is the implementing organization for the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC). The NAC provides a venue where the FAA can solicit a consensus-based set of recommendations on issues that are critical to the successful implementation of NextGen. It is also a forum to obtain a commitment of resources and/or synchronized planning between government and industry. The ATD-2 field demonstration at CLT is a collaboration among FAA, industry, and NASA in response to NAC recommendations and supported by the NACSC. (POC: Shawn Engelland)

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