Transforming Air Traffic Flow Management Worldwide
Based on the cutting-edge, Flight Schedule Monitor system developed for the Federal Aviation Administration, Metron Aviation designed and deployed its new air traffic flow management system in 2009. Branded Harmony, for its ability to harmonize air traffic demands with capacity, it available to air navigation services providers (ANSPs), airports and aircraft operators, worldwide. Harmony is an advanced air traffic flow management solution with capabilities that provide strategic, pre-tactical and tactical Demand Capacity Balancing (DCB), post operations metrics and performance analysis of air traffic operations.
Harmony fully embraces the concept of Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) allowing the aircraft operator to substitute slots, share data with other stakeholders, increase situational awareness and influence their own operations based on business priorities.
Harmony provides the following primary functions:
- Aviation resource (e.g., airports, airspaces) demand monitoring in the strategic, pre-tactical and tactical timeframes
- Automated Traffic Management Initiatives (TMIs) (e.g., Ground Delay Program, Airspace Flow Program, and Ground Stop) to balance demand with available capacity
- Situational awareness and data exchange with aircraft operators and airport authorities
- Aircraft Operator ATC slot substitutions to align business priorities with ATFM Measures
- Real-time and post operations metrics and performance analysis
Harmony for ANSPs
Improving Network Efficiency
Metron Harmony for Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) is an Integrated Air Traffic Flow Management solution that provides a framework for exchanging flight data among users who share the need for a common view of air traffic flow operations. Metron Harmony for ANSPs serves as the foundation for ATFM, working within and across multiple airports, Flight Information Regions and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP). Metron Harmony for ANSPs fully supports current and emerging Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) concepts including European Airport CDM and FAA CDM, to improve efficiency and predictability.
With Harmony’s ability to draw flight data from multiple sources, air traffic is monitored in real-time to ensure users have the most up-to-date demand and capacity information from selected airports and airspaces. Users are able to model and implement traffic management initiatives to align air traffic demand with available capacity through specific airport-based and airspace-based flow programs. The aggregated available data provides ANSPs, aircraft operators and airport operators the capability to examine the current and predicted demand and capacity of key resources. In-depth post analysis and reporting features allow users to continually improve operational performance.
Flexible Data Integration Engine
An advanced data integration and processing engine is at the core of Harmony for ANSPs, serving as the merging point for existing Air Traffic Control (ATC) systems and airline data sources. Metron Harmony for ANSPs collects data from various sources in order to provide the best available predictions of air traffic demand. This includes Official Airline Guide (OAG) schedule data, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard messaging (FPL, CNL, CHG, etc.), ATC automation data and surveillance data. Harmony for ANSPs allows external data sharing with other aviation system users, ANSPs, aircraft operators, airport operators and CDM participants.
Advanced Decision Support
Harmony for ANSPs users can view predictions of air traffic demand at selected airports and airspaces. When conditions such as weather, controller staffing, equipment outage or spikes in air traffic demand affect a resource’s capacity, easy-to-understand visuals and advanced modeling enable users to monitor and manage the impact of those conditions. Using Harmony for ANSPs, ANSP users can identify a capacity/demand imbalance, model the impact of alternative Traffic Management Initiatives (TMIs), coordinate TMIs with CDM participants and determine which alternatives yield optimal solutions to address the capacity/demand imbalance. Harmony for ANSPs continually updates the predicted demand so that ANSP users can monitor the operational conditions and modify the TMI to adapt to the changing environment.
Harmony for ANSPs enables an aircraft operator to exchange slots between their flights or other flights in real-time, thus optimizing their use of the overall capacity provided by the ANSP to achieve business goals. An advanced schedule management capability, called the Enhanced Substitution Module (ESM), is also available to aircraft operators that provide substitution modeling and automated substitutions for large operators. Aircraft operators, Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) users and airport operators may view Calculated Takeoff Times (CTOT) for all flights using a web-based user interface. Aircraft operators may also modify their flight data, including Target Off-Block Time (TOBT), Earliest Airline Off-Block Time (ELOBT), and registration numbers.
Harmony for Airports
Providing CDM Capabilities for Airports
Metron Harmony for Airports is an Integrated Air Traffic Flow Management solution providingadvanced decision support and predictive capabilities to increase efficiency of airport operations. A web-based, decision support solution and surface situational display, Harmony delivers real-time reporting and analysis.
Airport authorities benefit from Metron Harmony for Airports because it offers a link between all airport partners through a single consistent view of airport operations. Benefits include increased efficiency leading directly to greater capacity, efficient recovery from disruptive events, and optimized gate/stand management.
For the airport operator, benefits include optimized shared situational awareness of airport surface conditions between airport operators, flight operators, terminal operators, flight plan services providers and the Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP). Additionally, there will be immediate improvement in demand and capacity predictions, thereby maximizing available airport and airspace capacity, while minimizing adverse effects on the users, passengers, and the environment.
Passengers will benefit from an overall reduction in delays. When schedule disruptions occur, operational recovery will be faster. Environmental benefits include reduced emissions (exhaust and noise) due to accurate pushback start times and more efficient taxi times, due to efficient bay allocation.
Predictive Capabilities for Enhanced Efficiency
Metron Harmony for Airports provides predictive capabilities enabling proactive operational decisions that reduce taxi times, eliminate surface gridlock and increase departure capacity. Predictive functionalities fuse multiple data sources including current and forecasted ANSP information, airline schedule adjustments, capacity, weather restrictions and additional available data to provide accurate predictive information for airport and airspace traffic conditions.
Metron Harmony for Airports allows airport authorities to actively manage surface and gate congestion before gridlock conditions arise. The solution includes a flow rate manager that allows airports to implement an airport flow rate program that is tailored to the anticipated surface constraint. Using these specified parameters, the system assigns recommended aircraft arrival and departure times to balance the distribution.
Operational Functionalities for Surface Operations
Metron Harmony for Airports provides strategic, pre-tactical and tactical capabilities for increased efficiency in all phases of operations. On-demand analysis and reporting capabilities support the performance assessment of airport operators and stakeholders by enabling them to measure their effectiveness at managing operations, both real-time and post-event. The solution allows users to generate historical reports that highlight performance issues, pinpoint unnecessary delays, optimize maintenance scheduling, and continuously improve operations. On-demand analysis and reporting capabilities provide improved safety, efficiency and predictability of surface and surrounding airspace operations.