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Turnaround Integration in Trajectory and Network

Final Report Summary - TITAN (Turnaround integration in trajectory and network)

Executive summary:

Different airport performance review studies identify the aircraft turnaround as the major driver of departure delays that affect the efficient airport and air traffic management (ATM) network operation. To mitigate such inefficiencies reliable information sharing between all involved stakeholders is necessary. Analysing in depth the current environment and building on the airport collaborative decision making (A-CDM) concept the TITAN project proposes an advanced concept of operations to identify improvement opportunities in the information flows between the various stakeholders as well as the potential influence of external processes and to integrate the aircraft turnaround process into the aircraft business trajectory (BT) and the ATM network. After its successful validation, the proposed concept was realised by developing a decision-support tool that was subject to a cost-benefit analysis (CBA). It defined a service-oriented architecture (SOA) that enhances sharing of a more predictive common awareness of all relevant influences on the aircraft turnaround. Considerations on how to integrate the project output into the existing ATM system and manage the transition to a future TITAN environment were also made. The project output is summarised hereafter.

Project context and objectives:

Background

Managing efficiently air transport operations is progressively becoming one of the most acute challenges in the transport sector. The difficulty of meeting such a challenge results from the fact that a constantly increasing demand for air transport has to be satisfied by a significantly constrained available airport and airspace capacity with significantly lower growth rate. Delays are the major consequence of this situation. As the performance review commission (PRC) of Eurocontrol reported, turnaround-related delays remain the main driver of departure delays; for 2006 - 2011 their contribution to primary departure delays fluctuated between 65 - 70 %. Such delays arise during the aircraft turnaround process which is defined as a sequence of sub-processes required for servicing / handling an aircraft from the moment it arrives at its stand / gate until the moment it leaves it.

In order to reduce turnaround delays several solutions are currently under development. Such solutions focus on ameliorating information sharing between all involved stakeholders so that reliable information is circulated to better coordinate their actions. A promising initiative in this direction is Eurocontrol's A-CDM project. It is an operational concept built of elements aiming to achieve greater operational efficiency through more accurate target times supported by the definition of process milestones. By improving stakeholders' common situational awareness on airport and aircraft operations and implementing a balanced approach that strives for efficient capacity utilisation and delay minimisation, A-CDM can cost-effectively reduce departure delays and their knock-on impact and improve network performance. However, the A-CDM concept has difficulty convincing stakeholders to distribute freely their data and does not take turnaround-external processes such as passenger and baggage flows into account. This is where the TITAN project steps in.

The TITAN project

TITAN is a Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) research project co-funded by the European Commission (EC) and the project partners. The project directly addresses airport operations focusing on the aircraft turnaround process. It analysed it with a view to identifying improvement opportunities as well as the potential influence of the previously mentioned external processes. The validation of the concept and the decision-support tool proved that it can contribute to more predictable, flexible, efficient and cost-effective turnaround performance.

TITAN contributes to SESAR objective of enhancing and refining collaborative airport operations planning by building on a net-centric design principle, using trajectory-based operations (TBO) to integrate airports into the ATM network, defining services that act on the analysed processes and making use of A-CDM and system wide information management (SWIM) principles that provide common situational awareness. This approach is limited to turnaround operations addressing landside processes that SESAR does not cover and delivering an expanded version of information sharing. Considering aircraft progression in time and space as a sequence of arrival, turnaround, departure and en-route events, TITAN analyses the aircraft turnaround process as integral part of the ground segment of the aircraft BT. BT planning activities are structured by the TITAN information model and facilitated by end-user applications making use of the TITAN information.

Project Results:

The TITAN concept of operations

An in depth analysis of the current state of the aircraft turnaround process was established from the key stakeholders involved in it, as a prerequisite for identifying their actual needs and meeting them by developing the TITAN ConOps. With their assistance, the aircraft turnaround process was analysed with respect to the sequence of its sub-processes (ground operations) required to service the aircraft during the turnaround. Considered were all sub-processes from the moment the aircraft arrives at its stand / gate - actual in-block time (AIBT) - until the moment it leaves it - actual off-block time (AOBT) - including those external services which have a direct influence on it, such as passenger flows to the airport and within its facilities as well as baggage flows.

According to the stakeholders involved in the analysis, the most relevant reasons for aircraft turnaround delays are:

(1) Lack of information sharing

Currently, air navigation service providers (ANSPs), airport operators and airlines use different planning data, do not share a common view of the evolution of the aircraft processing and take their decisions based on different performance data, in spite of managing a single, unique set of aircraft. There is no single partner that has the complete picture; the information systems of the various partners have been developed and built independently.

During the flight execution phase, overall poor information sharing and management prevent efficient coordination between all stakeholders resulting in a less effective use of available assets and therefore increasing the hidden costs to the airspace users in the form of operational inefficiencies, such as a non-optimised aircraft turnaround process.

(2) Deviation from original planning and unexpected events

The aircraft turnaround is a process optimised by each stakeholder involved in it. They all optimise their resources to perform their tasks in the agreed time. Delays arise when a deviation from the original schedule occurs, mainly because of the unavailability of required equipment or staff leading to a chain reaction of delays. Deviations refer not only to late arrivals / departures but also to early arrivals. An early arrival is not always desirable as it could cause blockage or contention of resources.

(3) Increasing trend of demand for security processes

Airport operators have difficulty providing adequate infrastructure and resources to allow for short aircraft turnaround times. While this issue can be resolved only by new and harmonised regulations, it has a direct negative influence on ATM operations. Beyond that, it is difficult to establish a European standard aircraft turnaround process. Although turnaround activities and actors are, in all European airports, based on European legislation, there are national regulations that make it difficult to unify the different practices and that lead to a different course of activities during the turnaround depending on the country, and sometimes even on different airports within the same country. Based on the results of the analysis of users' needs, a new advanced operational concept was developed for the aircraft turnaround process fully integrating it into the aircraft BT. The TITAN ConOps describes in a new perspective how the aircraft turnaround can be performed by identifying the functions and processes of the different actors involved in it, as well as their roles and responsibilities including information flows and interactions between them. An important new feature is the inclusion of airport landside processes and their impact on the aircraft turnaround process.

The TITAN ConOps is to be seen as the logical evolution of A-CDM to further improve the collaborative features of SESAR; it addresses some elements not yet considered by A-CDM. TITAN is expected to use the milestones specified for A-CDM and to add new ones that make the aircraft turnaround process even more transparent than before.

All existing and newly added information that is necessary for better managing the aircraft turnaround process is included in the TITAN information sharing (TIS) platform, a virtual data repository that centralises all scheduled, estimated, actual and target (when applicable) time data. Such information items are transferred to and distributed by the TITAN services. What is fully new in the TITAN ConOps is the definition of a SOA. The term 'service' refers here to business services and not to information technology (IT) services; business services drive the IT services but not the other way around. This new approach focuses on the business aspects of aircraft and airport operations, at the same time laying out clear requirements for the IT support that are necessary for running TITAN in operational use. When running a process, information flows between the different stakeholders involved in the aircraft turnaround process are generated. Each one of these processes requires but also generates information which can be fed to other processes. Such information is circulated through the TITAN Services:

(a) the passenger / baggage / cargo and mail flow information services (PFIS, BFIS, CMFIS);
(b) the aircraft status report service (ASRS); and
(c) the airport information report service (AIRS).

This advanced operational concept proposes the use of end-user applications and interfaces, which provide with more accurate and comprehensive information reducing workload, encouraging interaction and supporting decision making. The information included deals with the process of:

(a) getting passengers from their homes or locations of accommodation to their seat in the aircraft;
(b)carrying baggage from drop-off stations to the aircraft hold;
(c) updating and informing on the status of the aircraft processed; and
(d) updating and informing on the status of other flights and airports affected by the processed flight.

The TITAN services monitor the progress of all aircraft turnaround sub-processes. Related information can be categorised in terms of urgency resulting from the definition of different information levels within the TITAN ConOps common to all stakeholders. By this means information can be managed more efficiently, the amount of exchanged information can be reduced to what is actually needed and information overload can be minimised.

Through TITAN, A-CDM can be enhanced as further capabilities can be implemented in the short term. Furthermore, the TITAN ConOps has been fully aligned with the 'Single European sky ATM research' (SESAR) programme being based on its net-centric design principles; each information 'generator' or 'consumer' is considered to be a node of the global A-CDM network and the SWIM platform puts each piece of information into a pool and picks up the one each partner needs.

Through this new system architecture the integration of the turnaround process in the aircraft BT, where up to now all other processes between aircraft landing and take-off for each trajectory cycle are included, is made feasible. The BT can be a continuous process depicting aircraft progression over its intended path for a whole duty cycle with both the air and the ground segment integrated into it. The aircraft turnaround process can be made an integral part of the BT ground segment, as proposed by TITAN, resulting in the definition of the airport BT necessary for integrating the airport into the ATM network.

Validating the operational concept

The TITAN ConOps was validated by applying the European operational concept validation methodology (E-OCVM).
In the TITAN performance framework (PF) the following key performance areas (KPAs) were defined:

(a) predictability (aircraft turnaround process standard deviation);
(b) efficiency (airline operations punctuality);
(c) cost -effectiveness (aircraft turnaround operational costs); and
(d) flexibility (predictability and efficiency in unexpected events or planned changes).

Validation of the TITAN ConOps was about demonstrating that integration of the identified stakeholders' requirements as well as concept alignment with SESAR will contribute to a performance improvement in the above KPAs. As a transversal activity validation was active during the entire project. The validation activities, through which concept maturity increased, examined whether the proposed concept was defined at the level of detail required for the development of benefit mechanisms and the identification of major research and development (R&D) needs.

The validation process was based on a 4-step approach; each step provided guidance on goal achievement and fed the subsequent one with relevant information.

Validation strategy

Goal of this step was to define the validation strategy at a project level. Based on the information contained in the PF, the validation strategy described the activities necessary to validate the TITAN ConOps. The following two validations techniques were chosen:

(i) Gaming sessions: The human-in-the-loop (HIL) gaming technique was chosen allowing the definition and exploration of roles and their responsibilities and the interaction of these roles within an automated environment. By focusing on the exploration of the situational awareness and the human-human and human-machine interactions, the feasibility of the information exchange defined in the TITAN ConOps was assessed. Games were played with experts acting according to specific roles and interacting through specific processes.

(ii) Fast time simulation: using the outcome driven distinctive simulation (ODDS) technique, the TITAN Model was developed to conduct a set of exercises that would evaluate validation objectives achievement through a set of validation scenarios. Two generic scenarios and four situation-specific ones were defined. Each scenario included two sub-scenarios; one representing the current situation and one a future situation with the TITAN ConOps implemented.

Exercise preparation

This step elaborated the detailed validation plan for each exercise consisting of three parts each time:
(a) definition of the exercise scope, the exercise planning and the assessment of the exercise feasibility;
(b) analysis specification and identification of the data collection and analysis methods and statistical significance;
(c) detailed exercise design, where activity and resource planning and management as well as training and time planning took place.

Exercise conduction
In this step the validation exercises were performed according to their description in the VP.

Results analysis
In this step the collected raw data were analysed and the results were synthesised and compared with the validation objectives and exercise hypotheses.

The main results of the gaming exercises can be summarised as follows:

- The defined TITAN information was proved to be sufficiently complete to support the aircraft turnaround sub-processes.
- The definition of the TITAN services was proved to be useful and complete with only few modifications still necessary depending on the actors performing subscriptions to services.
- Particular turnaround activities, such as de-icing, ambulift, and reduced mobility passenger (RMP) service, could be provided by external companies to be included as users of the TITAN services too.
- TITAN information completeness could be still improved by assessing further unexpected or abnormal situations.
- Information level illustration should be carefully designed to facilitate punctual problem identification and solution planning. Attention should be paid to the following areas:
(i) information overload may jeopardise the effective identification of the most crucial problems;
(ii) the general process of information classification should be further explored.

Using the TITAN model, a total of 330 simulation scenarios were developed and run to validate and analyse the performance of the proposed concept in different situations. A real 24-hour traffic sample was used and considered were the airport layout as well as different types of aircraft turnaround sub-processes. By this means it was possible to quantify the possible impact of different unexpected events such as flight delays, late passenger arrival to check-in desk, security or passport control, increased demand, lack of resources etc., on the predictability of different milestones such as estimated in- / off- lock times (EI / OBT). Apart from this, some forced disruptions were introduced in different aircraft turnaround sub-processes to analyse the resulting knock-on effect and measure the recovery delay factor. Furthermore, in particular scenarios the partial implementation of specific services, such as PFIS and BFIS or AIRS and ASRS, was assumed with the purpose of validating the TITAN services and analysing their benefits.

To estimate the benefits of TITAN implementation, all simulation scenarios were run twice; once with TITAN services activated and interactions with the end-user enabled and once without.

One major finding of the simulation result analysis was that all TITAN services were well defined. Although AIRS and ASRS provide more information, information obtained from PFIS and BFIS has a greater impact on the improvement of the aircraft turnaround process. However, there is a strong need for precisely defining which information should be available to which user depending on their subscription to the TITAN services, as no one wants to get/manage more information than needed.

Based on the simulation output, it can be concluded that the TITAN ConOps has accomplished all expectations as performance in the selected KPAs increase with TITAN implementation. As a result, it can be derived that with the TITAN ConOps implemented:

(a) the percentage of delayed flights will decrease;
(b) the aircraft turnaround process duration will decrease;
(c) the OBT will be more precise.

The main TITAN goals have been achieved as described below:

(a) predictability of operations has been improved;
(b) efficiency of the aircraft turnaround process has been increased as the number of delayed flights has decreased;
(c) flexibility has been enhanced as the balance between predictability and efficiency has proved benefit;
(d) the cost of the aircraft turnaround process has been reduced as a result of having improved predictability, efficiency and flexibility, although not possible to be proven via the model.

Realising the operational concept

To realise the TITAN ConOps, a decision-support tool was developed and delivered as a demonstrator. It provides all information necessary for offering more transparency into the aircraft turnaround process by highlighting any issues that have an impact on it and for facilitating turnaround delays mitigation.

Specification

The TITAN tool was based on a SOA; an information sharing platform in the centre and publicly available services in the periphery.

For the sake of the tool's interoperability and connectivity, industry-standard messaging formats and web service interfaces were used. Specialised user interfaces were introduced for different user classes. Moreover, different client implementations to make the tool more attractive from a business perspective are supported; both thin and thick clients. Existing computing equipment may be used for TITAN with minimal cost (i.e. only maintenance fees) and if necessary dedicated hardware that requires a specific client can be developed. Airlines, airport operators, and ground handling agents were identified as the main beneficiaries of the TITAN tool. Different levels of information were established to categorise their information needs in terms of urgency for reducing information overload. Information classification can be done independently by the stakeholders through an end user application (EUA).

Level of Information - Description

0 - A given process is running on time.
'1' - A process has a delay, but the aircraft turnaround itself is not affected.
'2' - Immediate intervention is needed to moderate the effects of a process delay.
'3' - Urgent re-planning of the whole aircraft turnaround process is unavoidable.

Design and architecture

The TITAN tool design and architecture incorporated the entities identified in the TITAN ConOps, which are:
(a) TIS;
(b) A-CDM and other external systems;
(c) TITAN services; and
(d) customised user interfaces and the system administrator interface.

The simple system architecture for a full production system is illustrated below; the red-dashed boundary identifies, however, the components that fall within the scope of the TITAN tool demonstrator.

The TITAN server consists of common endpoints for all clients to connect to, a messaging layer for communication between all components, the TIS, which is the central repository, and the identified services, which read, analyse and write data internally held or externally referenced by TIS. Data are pushed from the server to the clients as they change and messages are passed between TITAN and external systems as well as between TITAN components.

Service-oriented interfaces were designed to allow the flow of external information into and out of the TIS. However, such communication within the demonstrator was emulated due to limited access to such systems for development purposes. A set of interfaces were developed to facilitate intercommunication between A-CDM or any other external tool and a future commercial tool.

An event-driven concept was applied. Events are generated externally, i.e. by the end users, or internally, i.e. through service requests to the TIS. The event handler translates user events into database create, receive, update or delete requests, whereby all relevant events are captured by the event messenger to notify all subscribed parties.

Implementation

Users access the system, with default subscriptions to one or more services that can be then modified by the system administrator. On logging into the system, users’ credentials are linked to their role which describes the services, data and milestones they can access, modify or impact. Information on milestone and process progress is easily accessed through the summary view of all flights being processed at an airport. The implemented colour coding informs on delayed flights.

A flight-pair from the summary view can be further selected for an in depth analysis of the aircraft turnaround process. The details view is provided with clickable tab areas to indicate turnaround milestones with active textual content.

The TITAN tool combines a customisable client for the most common role requirements with special clients configurable for special needs. Furthermore, user views and preferences are created and stored server-side so that users can retain them whenever they need to.

Verification

The correct behaviour of the TITAN tool demonstrator - which serves as a subset of a future production-strength tool with enough of the requirements implemented to effectively execute the selected operational scenario - was verified against the specification requirements. The verification results confirmed that the demonstrator is able to push appropriate data to different users in order to support them in decision making by providing a common situational awareness during the aircraft turnaround process. Specific recommendations on how to upgrade it were also derived, i.e. implementation of further service-specific functionalities.

CBA for the TITAN tool

The cost benefit task for the TITAN tool included the development of the CBA methodology and the conduction of the CBA. The CBA methodology provided a basis for conducting an economic analysis of the implementation of a future commercial tool based on the TITAN demonstrator and it served as a guide to understand the process and the results derived from the CBA effort. It followed a generic approach on how to conduct a CBA based on the 'European model for strategic ATM investment analysis' (EMOSIA) and it was tailored specifically to the TITAN project.

The CBA was aiming to determine the value that the investment in a future commercial tool may generate to the involved stakeholders at a generic airport. As key stakeholders were identified airlines, airport operators, ANSPs and ground handling agents. The main assumptions and data used in the analysis were based on:

(a) the TITAN CBA methodology;
(b) existing literature;
(c) the TITAN tool and its cost estimates;
(d) the TITAN validation results;
(e) the feedback obtained during workshops;
(f) expert judgments; and (g) the interviews conducted with the stakeholders.

Two scenarios were developed including a 'baseline scenario' with A-CDM implemented but not the TITAN tool and a 'TITAN scenario' with both implemented. It was assumed that an infrastructure, where the information is located, is provided at the generic airport. The TITAN tool will grant access to it while any stakeholder using it will have to pay. Such costs were split into one-off acquisition cost and recurring costs. Benefits, on the other hand, were broken down following the Eurocontrol guidelines. The key benefits included cost savings or avoidance and additional revenues for each stakeholder. Their main impact was expected to be an increase in the predictability of the aircraft turnaround process. This benefit can be translated into monetary terms through delay reduction savings and operational cost reduction for all stakeholders. The key assumption of the CBA was that the future commercial tool will generate 1 % of operational cost reduction (minimum benefit). Having all necessary assumptions set, the economic models were developed and the scenarios were compared. The output of the CBA can be summarised as an operational cost reduction of 1 % and a net present investment value (NPIV) per stakeholder resulting from delay reductions due to the implementation of the future commercial tool at a generic airport.

The expected benefits from the implementation of a future production-strength TITAN tool outweigh the costs for airlines and airport operators. However, the expected benefits for ground handling agents and ANSPs are smaller than the resulting costs. The NPIV for all the stakeholders combined is positive. The results are, however, highly dependent on the operational cost reduction assumption. If we assume that the TITAN tool generates 2 % of operational cost reduction, the NPIV is positive for all stakeholders. Furthermore, the CBA output would change, if the costs distribution assumptions changed. Such sensible issues should be taken into account when deciding to upgrade the TITAN tool demonstrator to a production-strength commercial tool.

Preparing a future TITAN environment
Integrating TITAN output into the current ATS components
For any new procedure, tool or other development in ATM, development and testing is only the first major challenge. Successful integration into the ATM environment is also an important task that involves not only technical but also institutional and in some cases even culture-change elements.

In the specific case of TITAN, integration is made easier by the fact that it builds on the work already performed in the context of A-CDM. Many of the issues involved in information sharing, data ownership and the general change in working methods and thinking required by collaborative decision-making were addressed when A-CDM was implemented. On the other hand, since TITAN involves also totally new partners, and an even more detailed look at the turnaround process as well as the use of new information elements and data sources, compared to A-CDM some additional integration effort will be needed.

When considering the integration challenge, it is important to remember that TITAN will be implemented mainly in the upcoming SESAR environment which is bringing fundamental, paradigm changing developments, such as SWIM and TBOs.

Since TITAN has been designed from the start to be compatible with TBO and as a result of its SOA, integration into the ATS is relatively straightforward from a technical point of view. Institutional issues remain a problem, however.

The TITAN project looked at three integration areas: the airline operations centre, airport operations and the BT. A number of transition considerations have also been made.

The integration requirements were defined along a number of integration vectors; these are in fact specific areas for which the integration considerations and integration activities must be defined. They are called vectors because they indicate the direction of the activities and also their timeframe. The integration vectors are common to each and every partner in as much as they will all have to consider at least the vectors defined by TITAN when planning their specific integration activities on the understanding that some vectors may not be applicable in a given situation while in others, additional vectors may need to be defined to satisfy the prevailing requirements. Examples of integration vectors are: operational procedures; air traffic control (ATC) systems; airport systems, human machine interfaces (HMI), training and reform of thinking; institutional arrangements.

An analysis of the legacy environment showed that relatively few existing systems, particularly airline systems, have a SOA. Furthermore, while existing systems are normally able to receive information from TITAN, passing information in the reverse direction may need workarounds. Another discovery was that some of the information TITAN needs, particularly on the land-side is theoretically available but new sensors may be required to make the information accessible to TITAN.

New partners, some of whom will be involved in collaborative decision-making for the first time ever (e.g. a taxi company or the authority looking after the airport access road network) will need particular attention to ensure their collaboration and avoid reservations arising from concerns about liability issues.

An important conclusion from this analysis was that the engineering aspects of TITAN integration will not pose serious problems. At the same time, the institutional issues (data sharing rules, data ownership, etc.) need to be properly managed; otherwise they can turn out to be real showstoppers. Work already performed in this respect for A-CDM is partially reusable, however, the new partners and new information elements will need to be properly understood and analysed to ensure their seamless integration into the existing A-CDM environment.

TITAN's success is predicated to a very large extent on the willing and full cooperation of both old and new partners in A-CDM. To ensure this, a well-designed and effective sales effort will be needed as part of the overall integration activities. The expertise to successfully complete such an exercise may not be readily available within the ATM organisations concerned. Those are more used to approach things from an engineering and operational perspective, while this sales effort must concentrate mainly on the commercial benefit aspects explaining also why the culture-change is required for success in the future ATM environment.

Managing the Transition into a future TITAN Environment

As mentioned earlier, TITAN assumes that it will be implemented on top of an existing A-CDM infrastructure. As such, TITAN will bring incremental but nevertheless important benefits mainly by enhancing even further the predictability of the aircraft turnaround process.

The transition concept developed originally for A-CDM would appear to be appropriate also for TITAN. In this concept, local transition is planned as the initial step, deploying TITAN at individual airports selected on the basis of their level of A-CDM implementation. It is reasonable to expect that the enhanced benefits demonstrated by A-CDM / TITAN airports will act as a catalyst, urging other airports to become A-CDM compatible so that they too may then implement TITAN; similarly, other airports already using A-CDM will probably want to upgrade to TITAN.

In order to properly manage this upgrade process, a regional implementation plan will also be necessary. Regional in this context may mean a complete or partial International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) region, a Functional Airspace Block (FAB) or a number of FABs. Obviously, not all airports in a given region will be candidates for TITAN implementation. In order for partners to be convinced of the resulting benefits, an appropriate business case must be made for each candidate. At the same time it must be remembered that the network benefits of A-CDM and consequently, A-CDM enhanced with TITAN increase exponentially with the number of airports participating. Therefore all airports willing and able to participate in the regional implementation activities should be encouraged to do so. The extended partner and information set inherent in TITAN works best in a SWIM environment. However, the availability of SWIM with all its features is not a prerequisite for implementing TITAN. This is a very important transition consideration since it highlights the fact that there is no need to delay the transition to TITAN on account of information management considerations.

Having a transition plan with well-defined and agreed timeframes is important mainly to speed up transition. There are no specific interdependencies (other than the need to implement A-CDM first) that would require co-ordination of the transition steps. At the same time, the need for educating partners, the development of the sales concept and the sharing of experience as a basis for getting additional partners on board do argue for a plan that results in a structured series of actions, maximising their effectiveness. The coming years will bring many important changes in the ATM environment, particularly as the SESAR concept elements come on line. When planning the transition to TITAN, it is worth considering the priorities being given to all the other new elements and finding opportunistic synergies to time the transition so that instead of competing with other projects TITAN is seen as an integral element of the overall development.

In summary, TITAN's integration into the ATS will not be a big challenge from an engineering point of view. Institutional issues, however, need special attention as they may prove showstoppers if not managed properly and early enough. Furthermore, new partners, especially those on the land-side who may be involved in A-CDM for the first time ever, will need special attention to ensure their willing and full cooperation. A well designed and effective sales effort will be required to help TITAN's wide-spread acceptance and implementation.

Potential impact:

TITAN intends to advance the research in the turnaround process from a CDM perspective. The operational concept, the TITAN model, the validation results, the TITAN tool demonstrator, the CBA and the integration of TITAN with the air transport system provided by the project have been thoroughly disseminated to the airport and air transport community in order to ensure the success of the work. To reinforce the dissemination of project results, the initial 36-months duration of the project was extended up to 39 months. A number of activities have been undertaken by the project partners to guarantee that the project results have been properly disseminated:

(a) creation and maintenance of the web site (see http://www.titan-project.eu online) where all the public documents generated by the project are available to the community;
(b) publication of seventeen articles in the Roger-Wilco blog where TITAN was established as a separate category in order to make easier the link to the different texts. Those articles have been published all along the duration of the project showing periodically the main achievements to keep the stakeholders’ attention on it;
(c) participation to conferences and external publications which may be judged as interesting to disseminate the findings of the project. The participation in these events has been closely coordinated with the EC project officer;
(d) organisation of several workshops to present the results of the project to the community:
(i) first workshop in Brussels, March 2010, introduced the project to the attendees and collected some ideas to make up the user's needs;
(ii) second workshop in Madrid, February 2011, showed the concept of operations (issue 1) to the attendees looking for their feedback and initial validation;
(iii) final workshop in Palma de Mallorca, November 2012, showed the whole project results with a positive feedback from the attendees;
(iv) five local workshops in February 2013 (Munich, Budapest, Milan, Cologne and Brussels airports) with the aim of disseminating the technical work done during the project and presenting the main outcomes to the relevant stakeholders such as airlines, ground handlers, airport managers or other interested related entities.

Those local workshops attracted a total of 42 qualified attendees demonstrating the industry's interest in the TITAN project results. Besides detailed discussions on the definition of terms (e.g. airside vs. landside) the feedback showed that TITAN managed achieving an important aim: further trustful collaboration of all stakeholders is shared as a prerequisite for improving the turnaround.

- Preparation of two brochures: the first one with the project objectives and the final one including the main findings of the project and an interactive USB with all public deliverables.
- Creation of a project video and a technical movie, being the second one a detailed version of the first one with a comprehensive explanation of the concept of operations and how it works in a real environment.
- Development of 'TITAN - The Book' which contains an easy to read description of the history and current practice of CDM and leads the reader through to why advanced solutions like TITAN are needed. The purpose of the book is to remain a useful reference work even long after the TITAN project has been completed.

Exploitation of the project results

The work developed in the TITAN project could constitute the basis for future developments aiming at a full operational implementation of the concept. Being aware of this fact, the general specification activities of the project have produced public deliverables which could eventually become public standards when processed through the appropriate channels.

On the other hand, the specific implementation carried out in WP2 'Development of TITAN Model' and WP4 'Development of TITAN tool', envisages certain intellectual property protection (IPR) issues. All these IPR issues, as well as the ownership of the knowledge created by the project (foreground knowledge) and the rules to access background knowledge have been addressed by the consortium agreement amongst the project partners. The D7.10: 'Initial Exploitation Plan' can be considered the path to be followed by the results of the TITAN project, both those that are released to the community and those that could become the seed of commercial developments. The different exploitable items such as marketable products, ideas, research results and foreground generated within the project have been identified there. The exploitation plan assesses, for each of these items that are precisely defined, the involved partners and their roles, the exploitation policy (direct, spin-off, license), the exploitation time frame, technical and economical market considerations as well as further additional research and development activities, intellectual property rights already initiated commercial partnerships and contacts and any other collaborative issues. There is no applicant for patents, trademarks, registered designs, etc.

List of websites: http://www.titan-project.eu
Contact details: contact@titan-project.eu

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