13 Jan Airport CDM benefits are clear, global implementation progress remains slow.


Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) delivers significant benefits to European airports and the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) network. Recently Eurocontrol presented an improvement of take-off accuracy, which is the main driver for network benefits.


Predicted 2015 ECAC network impact caused by Airport CDM implementations

The Network Impact study predicts an increase of sector ECAC capacity between 1% – 6% when thirty airports or more have fully implemented Airport CDM and are connected to the Network Manager Operations Centre (NMOC). Airport CDM implementation progress shows Europe will easily reach that number of connected airports in the coming years.

Other continents are slowly getting familiar with Airport CDM. In the Middle East and Asia implementations are started or are on their way, whilst South America is conducting studies and the USA has its Surface CDM. Global harmonization documentation has been adopted in ICAO doc 9971, and implementation manuals for airport and network managers are available. Yet despite all these benefits and documentation, Airport CDM is not yet under consideration or implementation by many large hub airports connecting the globe’s busiest air traffic routes.

Cultural, political and commercial reasons may lie underneath slow decision making for implementation. Air traffic growth is often still accommodated with more infrastructural capacity, rather than improvement of transparency between stakeholders and at the cost of operational efficiency. After initial gain of additional space, flight delays and inefficiencies continue to persist due to the lack of information sharing and collaboration.

Travelers aware of the increasing congestion choose airports for smooth connections and on time arrival at destination. Even when they do not know what causes the congestion, they will select CDM airports for their efficient hub-operations. A scenario that should concern hub carriers, and inspire airports with local stakeholders to mitigate prior or in parallel to any infrastructural expansion.

With airspace becoming increasingly congested, the need for additional network capacity starts with enhanced take-off predictability on the ground. Valuable information that no infrastructural expansion can buy.

About To70. To70 is one of the world’s leading aviation consultancies, founded in the Netherlands with offices in Europe, Australia, Asia, and Latin America. To70 believes that society’s growing demand for transport and mobility can be met in a safe, efficient, environmentally friendly and economically viable manner. For more information please refer to www.to70.com


  1. A-CDM Benefits & Network Impact Study – Airport CDM Information Exchange 2015 – 22-23 September 2015, Eurocontrol – Brussels
  2. The Third Meeting of ICAO Asia/Pacific Air Traffic Flow Management Steering Group (ATFM/SG/3) – ICAO Singapore, March 2014

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Eugène Tuinstra
Improving efficiency in airport operations starts with open communication and transparency of data between the airport partners. From Brussels to Jakarta, I learned about culture differences between people in the political arena of aviation. To move away from the existing status quo requires a process of change that I am happy to facilitate.
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