The main objective of this work package (PJ03a-01), which is part of the overall SESAR project „Integrated Surface Management“ (SESAR 2020 PJ03a) is to find solutions to provide both pilots and vehicle drivers with an enhanced guidance assistance to support their navigation on the airport surface, detecting potential conflicting situations and returning conflict-free taxi routes and schedules. The resulting accurate taxi times will improve the predictability of surface movements and decrease the amount of radiotelephony.
With the solution all the required inputs and constraints (also regarding timing) are taken into account by the routing and planning function to optimize the calculated routes in accordance with the target criteria. Regarding the infrastructure, the Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL) and the Follow the Greens (FtG) represent an additional means of ground-based guidance through enhanced automation, coupled with route management, and automatic stopbar- and TCL lighting. The use of AGL and associated procedures as speed control result in a smoother traffic flow with less waiting time for mobiles at intersections, meaning fewer start and stop cycles, and a positive impact on the predictability of surface ground operations.
Just recently a real time simulation was conducted by the EUROCONTROL ATM Airport Research Unit, where the “Follow the Greens (FtG) concept was validated. This concept allows for automation of the Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL) system to guide aircraft and vehicles on the movement area. An optimised Routing function to reduce deadlock conflicts and permit a smoother traffic throughput on the airport surface was also assessed. Operational Air Traffic Controllers from COOPANS (Austro Control) and other ANSPs tested different scenarios representing different level of traffic and weather condition. COOPANS experts also were the driving force in developing the validation plan and report.
The added value with respect to SESAR 1 activities will be the management of priorities between mobiles ensuring adequate lateral separation between mobiles on the movement area in all weather conditions. A positive impact on safety as well as more predictable traffic flow will be the main expected benefits.