NASA Ames Research Center, in cooperation with the FAA, has completed research and development of a proof-of-concept Surface Management System (SMS). This paper reports on two recent SMS field tests as well as final per-formance and benefits analyses. Field tests and analysis support the conclusion that substantial portions of SMS technology are ready for transfer to the FAA and deployment throughout the National Airspace System (NAS). Other SMS capabilities were accepted in concept but require additional refinement for inclusion in subsequent de-velopment spirals. SMS is a decision support tool that helps operational specialists at Air Traffic Control (ATC) and NAS user facilities to collaboratively manage the movements of aircraft on the surface of busy airports, thereby im-proving capacity, efficiency, and flexibility. SMS provides accurate predictions of the future demand and how that demand will affect airport resources – information that is not currently available. The resulting shared awareness enables the Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), and air carriers to coordinate traffic management decisions. Furthermore, SMS uses its ability to predict how future demand will play out on the surface to evaluate the effect of various traffic management decisions in advance of implementing them, to plan and advise surface operations. The SMS concept, displays, and algorithms were evaluated through a series of field tests at Memphis International Airport (MEM). An operational trial in September, 2003 evaluated SMS traffic management components, such as runway configuration change planning; shadow testing in January, 2004 tested tactical components (e.g., Approval Request (APREQ) coordina-tion, sequencing for departure, and Expected Departure Clearance Time (EDCT) compliance). Participants in these evaluations rated the SMS concept and many of the traffic management displays very positively. Local and Ground controller displays will require integration with other automation systems. Feedback from FAA and NAS user par-ticipants support the conclusion that SMS algorithms currently provide information that has acceptable and benefi-cial accuracy for traffic management applications. Performance analysis results document the current accuracy of SMS algorithms. Benefits/cost analysis of delay cost reduction due to SMS provides the business case for SMS deployment.

Original document

The different versions of the original document can be found in:

Back to Top

Document information

Published on 01/01/2004

Volume 2004, 2004
DOI: 10.2514/6.2004-6241
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

Document Score


Views 0
Recommendations 0

Share this document


claim authorship

Are you one of the authors of this document?