Saab’s solution assists SFO during runway construction

30 September 2014 (Last Updated September 30th, 2014 18:30)

The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has successfully managed the closure of its runways through Aerobahn Departure Manager (DMAN) solution from Saab.

The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has successfully managed the closure of its runways through Aerobahn Departure Manager (DMAN) solution from Saab.

Built on the Aerobahn airport surface management platform, DMAN solution helped the airport in managing departure and sequencing of aircrafts to reduce aircraft taxi times, fuel burn and emissions during the four-month period.

Saab's analysis of surface traffic data during the closure showed that the use of DMAN helped in reduction of operational costs by about $8.3m and emissions by 7,180mt. The use of recommended off-block times helped in keeping taxi out times at nearly three minutes lower than the predicted time.

Saab says DMAN solution also helped in dynamic management of flight departure times and enabled airlines to decide flight priorities and preferences to minimise departure delays.

"SFO was able to avoid lengthy delays and maintain a predictable schedule for airlines and customers due to the entire airport community working together."

SFO public information officer Doug Yakel said: "SFO was able to avoid lengthy delays and maintain a predictable schedule for airlines and customers due to the entire airport community working together.

"This airport-wide collaboration saw the airlines, airport entities and the FAA identify a strong plan to manage the runway closure and put in place the tools and procedures needed to efficiently conduct operations with minimal disruption to passengers."

The technology also provides airline and terminal operators with automated flight metering assignments based on Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) airline schedules and departure rates. It uses various data sources to allocate each flight a recommended push back time and associated movement area transition spot time which helps in managing the introduction of flights to the movement area controlled by the FAA.

The control over which flights are assigned to their allocations to meet their individual operational goals are retained by each airline or terminal operator. Saab, along with its partner Robinson Aviation, also managed and staffed a departure metering coordination centre that managed requests from airlines and terminal operators at times of need.

Saab ATM general manager Ken Kaminski said: "San Francisco was able to achieve significant operational cost savings in excess of what we modelled before the project started. Saab's Aerobahn DMAN has proven that the system, when used in a collaborative, transparent operating environment like SFO or JFK, can increase efficiencies and reduce operating costs."

The Aerobahn product suite which comprises surface manager, departure manager, airport status dashboard and de-icing manager is said to improve the efficiency and collaboration of airport authorities, airlines and air navigation service providers.

The solution is currently used at 26 airports across the world, including seven of the ten busiest airports in the US by movements in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago O'Hare, Denver, Houston, Philadelphia and Phoenix International.