Published on July 5th, 2017 | by Mark Dwyer


Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) for Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport CDM is a joint initiative between daa & the Irish Aviation Authority to improve efficiency at Dublin Airport by optimising the use of resources and improving the predictability of events. It focuses especially on aircraft turn-around and pre-departure sequencing processes. Increased predictability can be of significant benefit for all major airport and network operations; it raises both productivity and cost-efficiency.

The A-CDM project for Dublin started with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by each stakeholder at the Airport. This took place on 11th November 2014 and reflects the convergence of intention of all partners, towards the completion of the A-CDM project at the airport. In order to achieve A-CDM implementation, several other milestones had to be met. One of these included the implementation of Electronic Flight Strips in the Tower at Dublin. This went live in May this year (see article here) and paves the way for the launch of A-CDM.

The process commences at (-)3hr before the Estimated Off-Block Time (EOBT), until the Actual Take Off Time (ATOT), using a sixteen milestones approach to track the turnaround process (see video below). The decision making between partners is dependent upon the sharing of accurate and timely information and upon adapted Airport CDM procedures, mechanisms and tools. Airport CDM allows an airport partner to make the right decisions in collaboration with other airport partners noted above, knowing their preferences and constraints in regard to the actual and predicted situation.


For the Airport Operator, improved use of stands/gates leads to fewer late stand changes. More stable traffic flows and reduced taxi times make for fewer queues on runways and less congestion on the apron or taxiways. Aircraft Operators will have enhanced awareness of the status and location of aircraft, as they will receive more accurate aircraft arrival times as well as improved departure sequence information. Fuel burn due to queues at the runway threshold will be reduced; this naturally has both economic and environmental benefits.

Air Traffic Control will benefit from improved runway and capacity planning. More accurate take-off time predictions will help the Network Manager make more precise calculations of network demand. This enhanced flow and capacity management will result in better ATFM slot allocation, improved compliance and a reduced number of missed slots.

The Ground Handler will benefit from having more accurate in-block times for arrivals, as well as from knowing the exact time departing aircraft have been given start-up clearance. This makes for more accurate planning and a more efficient use of resources. Passengers will benefit from reduction in delays and fewer missed connections. After disruptions, recovery will be faster. Also for arrivals, more accurate information can be delivered to Flight Information Display Systems and service desks.

Along with this increased predictability, Airport CDM brings myriad other benefits for airports, such as environmental impact reduction and enhanced planning of the turn-around. The growing number of airports adopting A-CDM benefits the ATM network as a whole by improving en-route and sectoral planning. This is achieved by the Network Manager’s receiving more accurate Target Take-Off Times from the airport, via Departure Planning Information (DPI) messages.

A-CDM is fully implemented in 22 airports across Europe, including: Barcelona, Berlin Schönefeld, Brussels, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Helsinki, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Madrid, Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Munich, Paris CDG, Paris Orly, Oslo, Prague, Rome Fiumicino, Stuttgart, Venice, Zurich.

A flight crew briefing document for A-CDM at Dublin Airport is available here and a pilots guide to A-CDM is available here.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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