Summary of KDC results 2017

What did KDC achieve in 2017? The full results at a glance.

In 2017…

…we worked on 13 different projects: nine short-term and four multi-year studies
…we completed seven projects: four short-term and three multi-year studies.
Two studies are likely to be followed up in 2018, and three studies will be continued in 2018.

View the 2017 results in the diagram below.

What results did we achieve?

Our KDC Research Agenda is divided into eight fields of research. The projects we worked on in 2017 come under three of these eight categories. The results per field of research are described below.

Airline Operational Efficiency

Capacity and Runway Predictions

In 2015, To70 delivered a prototype Capacity and Runway Prediction tool. However, the evaluation revealed that the tool occasionally provided incorrect forecasting. This led to To70 conducting a follow-up study in 2016, in which the tool’s forecasting was improved by modelling the effects of crosswinds and sudden weather changes.

A follow-up study in 2017 improved the graphic interface. In addition, the user-friendliness and operational use of the tool itself were evaluated. The study concluded that the tool is now ready for implementation, in terms of user-friendliness. It has also been demonstrated that the tool is consulted frequently, especially when capacity reductions are expected.

Evaluation of WLM ACC performance using MUAC flight data

The aim is to improve the performance of the capacity management system, so that the number of adjustments (via the network manager) does not increase as the volume of traffic grows. Over the past few years, LVNL has developed the workload model (WLM) for this.

The workload model provides improved insight into the workload at ACC sectors
The model is not only based on the number of flights in the sector (sector entry counts), but also looks at the complexity of the traffic flows. In doing so, the WLM assists the air traffic controllers in making more plan-based decisions about splitting up sectors and setting up regulations. LVNL will make increasing use of the model.

LVNL planning tool and the quality of data used
At the moment, LVNL uses the ETFMS Flight Data (EFD) made available by the network manager (NM). This data is reasonably accurate when it comes to aircrafts that are already in the air. However, it is inaccurate when it comes to aircrafts that are still on the ground at the airport of departure.

We are evaluating whether MUAC flight data is better than NM data
Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) offered LVNL the option of using MUAC flight data for capacity management. MUAC has spent the past few years enriching NM data. This is a trend in Europe: Traffic control organisations improve the quality of the flight data themselves, because the development of the network manager is too slow.

Unfortunately, we had to terminate the study prematurely
In 2017, it appeared that MUAC could not deliver the promised data. This had to do with a required system upgrade at MUAC. The data that the KDC received appeared to be of insufficient quality. The research is still very relevant, but since MUAC could not indicate when the data could be delivered, the KDC decided to stop this study. Perhaps MUAC will be capable of delivering the requested data in the 2018/2019 period. The KDC will then investigate whether the study can still be continued.

Optimisation of Runway Maintenance Planning

To70 has developed a tool that supports the determination of the correct runway maintenance strategy. This gives the ‘runway maintenance strategy project group’, under the supervision of Schiphol, the tools it needs to provide insight into the capacity effects of the long-term closure of runways, based on historical weather data. With the aid of this tool, the project group can independently provide insight into capacity issues for all maintenance scenarios that are considered. The tool basically uses algorithms originating from the Capacity & Runway Predictor.

Airport Capacity

Optimisation of Outbound Cluster

In 2016, together with MovingDot we conducted a study into the use of data link in the outbound Schiphol process. As part of this study, we looked at the use of data link in clearance delivery, but also at the use of data link by ground control. Here, we included the European development that uses ATN Baseline 2, the latest standard for data link. LVNL is using the results in developing a strategy for the Schiphol air traffic control process.

Use data link even more frequently
In 2017, we implemented an additional activity. This focused on drawing up a tangible plan for increasing the use of airway clearance via data link (DCL) at Schiphol, from its current level of 70% to 95% or higher. The study revealed that the maximum achievable percentage for the DCL service was 85%. A campaign will need to be started for this, to increase airlines’ use of the service. It is now up to LVNL to investigate whether an 85% utilisation rate is sufficient to achieve an optimisation impactful optimisation on the outbound cluster.

Optimising Ground Capacity

The main objective of this project is to achieve improvements in Schiphol’s ground capacity. The project commenced in 2017, and will be completed on 1 April 2018.
An algorithm was devised for the first ground location chosen (called ‘taxiway Z’), to determine the minimum mutual distances between relevant aircraft and the taxi speeds, using the multilateral data. This was to take place under different limited visibility conditions.

Business Case on Electronic Device for Pushback Drivers

At Schiphol, 200 pushbacks are performed incorrectly each year, leading to operational disruptions. This study investigated the best solution for reducing this phenomenon.
Research was conducted into the success rate for different solution options, varying from relatively simple to complex. A cost-benefit analysis was performed for the solution options, taking into account the objectives, which were: reducing pushback incidents, increasing situational awareness in the A-CDM process, and logging or sending the ARDT. The business case demonstrates that the set objectives will be achieved by implementing and realising a device for the pushback driver.

Managing of Turnaround Priorities

Schiphol has a shortage of gate stands, and CDM is not yet running optimally. As a consequence, many disruptions occur that lead to unpredictability, an increase in workload, and a loss of efficiency. MovingDot has carried out an operational analysis and data analysis for the KDC, and has issued advice on how to improve the turn-around process. The conclusions and recommendations are not yet a unified vision shared by the sector partners. The KDC will examine whether a follow-up to this study is necessary.

Functional analysis of Schiphol Tower – Centre

As part of the optimisation of the tower processes, MovingDot has made an inventory and description of the existing processes. An overview has been made of the tasks and functions at tower centre. In addition, there is a description of the relationships and dependencies between functions, systems, and functions and systems. The functionalities and system relationships in the tower are visualised. The result of this study will be used in the Tower 2.0 project.

AMAN Cluster including iCAS development

ASAS Interval Management

In 2016, the NLR prepared a trial flight using ASAS Interval Management (ASAS-IM). This trial flight took place in 2017 in the airspace at Eelde. The NLR’s Cessna Citation (PH-LAB) was equipped with ASAS-IM for these tests. Another Cessna Citation was hired especially for the flight tests, to serve as the aircraft which was to be followed by PH-LAB using ASAS-IM equipment.
A first series of flight tests took place in early 2017. However, these were plagued by technical problems with the receiver system in the ASAS-IM equipment on board PH-LAB.
The flight tests were successfully completed at the end of 2017. The tests demonstrated that the ASAS-IM concept works with respect to the airside, and is also acceptable from a pilot’s perspective.

Business Case Expansion of AMAN radar horizon

In the context of the PCP Regulation (expansion of the AMAN planning horizon to 200NM), a business case study was carried out to investigate the possibilities and conditions for expanding the planning horizon, in particular with the dependence on the AMAN radar horizon in this. So far, it appears that expansions are possible with little effort required. The exact scope of potential expansions and all related conditions will be mapped out during the rest of the project.

Results of the collaboration with the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

In 2017, students from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) carried out studies commissioned by the KDC. These studies are part of the Capacity Management research line, which is designed by the AUAS. The following thesis reports have been delivered:

The influence of ATFM delays on airspace capacity

A quantitative study on the effects of delay recovery at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Author: Joep Boekhout

Implementation of an Airport Operations Centre (APOC) at Schiphol Airport

Improving capacity management?
Author: Huib de Jong

Impact of runway configuration changes

A study on the influence of runway changes on airport capacity
Author: Remsey Kanis