Surface Management System
Decision support capabilities improving airport surface movement
The Surface Management System, developed under NASA’s Advanced Air Transportation Technologies (AATT) project, increases shared situational awareness of airport surface operations between the Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), Ramp Tower, airlines and other Air Traffic Control (ATC) facilities. The system provides decision support capabilities to improve airport surface movement efficiency and flexibility by providing ATCT controllers with more complete and precise information about departure demand, arrival demand, predicted pushback times and runway utilization. Surface information is conveyed via graphical user interface that incorporates at-a-glance traffic information and decision support advisories. The surface information is also provided to ramp controllers and Air Traffic Service Providers (ATSP) in Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities to enhance Collaborative Decision Making (CDM).
The system uses information about the current state of the surface and the future arrival and departure demands from several sources, and predicts how the situation on the airport surface will evolve. The Surface Management System disseminates these predictions (i.e. takeoff time for individual flights) to plan and advise airport traffic management strategies. Flight plan, surveillance and scheduled pushback data from the Traffic Flow Management Systems (TFMS) is compiled to understand the future arrival and departure demands.