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"Multimodal, Efficient Transportation in Airports and Collaborative Decision Making"

Periodic Report Summary 2 - META-CDM (Multimodal, Efficient Transportation in Airports and Collaborative Decision Making)

Project Context and Objectives:
Be it snow, volcanic ash or strikes, crisis events impose huge costs on the air transport system and society and it is the passenger who bears the practical consequences. Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) has been hugely successful at enabling advanced air transportation concepts such as ground delay programs and airport departure managers. Implementing Airport CDM (A-CDM) helps to mitigate the effects of delay upon Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) slot adherence and although it helps airports, airlines and ground handlers in optimising their resource allocation, landside efficiency is not within its current scope. To fully handle crisis events and include the passenger in the CDM process an extension of A-CDM to the landside is needed.
The MetaCDM (Multimodal, Efficient Transportation in Airports – Collaborative Decision Making) project aims to define the future of A-CDM – a future where CDM techniques can be used to address major disruption, and where the needs of the passenger are the centre of attention. The project had three main phases:
• A comprehensive literature review of existing CDM efforts and responses to disruptive events,
• A series of stakeholder interviews to gain insight into how disruption is currently handled,
• A concept development phase in which the lessons learned were used to formulate a framework for landside CDM processes in response to disruption and the potential economic and environmental benefits of utilising this framework were assessed.
The outcomes of these phases were reviewed throughout the project via a series of stakeholder workshops, at which participants advised on future steps and influenced the concepts being developed. At every step, the practical advice of those who have dealt with air transport system disruption was vital. The three-stage workshop process reviewed the current state of CDM and response to crisis events, focused on lessons learned from MetaCDM’s series of on-site interviews with affected stakeholders and discussed the final project outcomes, future directions, enabling technologies, and steps towards a new passenger-centric concept of operations.
The data-gathering and information synthesis carried out during the project form the first steps towards bringing together an extended CDM concept – one in which airside, landside and ground transportation providers work together to optimise the passenger experience and reduce disruption costs. Based on the existing A-CDM standard, this report outlines the key functional groups needed to bring extended CDM into practice. We propose a milestone-based approach for door-to-door air passenger journeys which is straightforwardly adaptable to cases of severe disruption. The concept is designed to provide benefits to stakeholders even under normal conditions. In crisis situations, the milestone approach adapts to encompass ground transportation and other alternatives. The passenger is kept fully informed and in control of their journey.
Detailed reports on MetaCDM results and workshops can be downloaded freely from the MetaCDM website (www.meta-cdm.org).

Project Results:
A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF EXISTING CDM ACTIVITIES
The initial stage of the MetaCDM project brought together existing information on CDM activities, both practical and theoretical, into one comprehensive source. By identifying the state of the art in airside, landside and total airport CDM, and by reviewing past disruptive events and the literature available on how they were managed, MetaCDM formed an initial knowledge base upon which the interview and concept development phases of the project were built. This review is freely available from the MetaCDM website.

STAKEHOLDERS INTERVIEWS
On-site interviews and questionnaires with stakeholders formed a key part of the MetaCDM project. We interviewed stakeholders who have had to deal with disruptive events in the past and prepare for those in the future – airlines, airports, air navigation service providers, ground transportation providers and others. Amongst other questions we sought to understand: What strategies and response plans to major disruption exist for each stakeholder? How do they (or could they) interact with A-CDM? To what extent are they currently coordinated beyond the air transport system, and what means exist for greater cooperation? What are the potential benefits (and risks) of doing so? What new ideas in disruption management deserve to be pushed forward? Our report on the interview outcomes is freely available from the MetaCDM website.

LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR AN EXTENDED CDM CONCEPT
Landside and Airside CDM can be united in the concept of Total Airport CDM. But responding to disruption may require CDM that reaches beyond the airport boundaries to encompass other stakeholders, including providers of alternative transportation modes and, most importantly, passengers. To do this, we need to move beyond current system metrics that measure airport and airline success by aircraft delays, and focus on the whole of a passenger's door-to-door journey. We envisage a future where passengers can access integrated real-time information on flight delays, congestion and expected airport process times throughout their journey, enabling them to make better-informed decisions about their travel. When disruption strikes, passengers will be informed rapidly and can choose from a range of alternative solutions, including ground transportation.
The data-gathering and information synthesis carried out during the project were vital first steps towards bringing together an extended CDM concept – one in which airside, landside and ground transportation providers work together to optimise the passenger experience and reduce disruption costs. The final project outcome is the MetaCDM Concept of Operations. Based on the existing A-CDM standard, we outline the key functional groups needed to bring extended CDM into practice. We propose a milestone-based approach for door-to-door air passenger journeys which is straightforwardly adaptable even to cases of severe disruption. The concept is designed to provide benefits to stakeholders (including shorter journey times and a reduction in uncertainty) even under normal conditions. In crisis situations, the milestone approach adapts to encompass ground transportation and other alternatives. The passenger is kept fully informed and in control of their journey.
Our Concept of Operations is freely downloadable from the MetaCDM website. As well as a full description of the concept, it includes an initial benefit assessment and a roadmap for future research towards the goal of seamless air mobility in Europe.

WORKSHOPS
To validate the three project phases, the MetaCDM project centred around a series of workshops at which stakeholders reviewed the outcomes of the project so far, advised on future steps and influenced the concepts being developed. At every step, the practical advice of those who have dealt with air transport system disruption was vital.
• Workshop 1, held at London Heathrow Airport in January 2013, reviewed the current state of CDM and response to crisis events.
• Workshop 2, at Frankfurt Airport in November 2013, focused on lessons learned from MetaCDM’s series of on-site interviews with affected stakeholders, and on the contribution of multimodality.
• Workshop 3, in Toulouse in May 2014, discussed the final project outcomes, future directions, enabling technologies, and steps towards a new passenger-centric concept of operations.
Detailed reports on all three workshops can be downloaded freely from the MetaCDM website.

Potential Impact:
MetaCDM is a concept development project, bringing together ideas from the literature and from stakeholder interviews to develop ideas for extending CDM beyond its current airside focus. As such, its impacts lie mainly in three areas.
First, as a Coordination and Support Action the project brought together stakeholders from multiple areas related to the passenger journey. Representatives from different airports were able to meet and compare their strategies for handling passengers in disrupted situations at the project’s three workshops, at which extensive discussion took place
Second, the project provides a benefit for researchers and bodies, such as the EC, which commission research. The literature review and interview stages of the project concentrated on bringing together existing information in disparate areas (A-CDM, passenger experience, landside performance monitoring, disruption handling, …) to form an integrated knowledge base that is useful as a basis for future research and more concrete development projects.
Third, the project provided a specific Concept of Operations which may also be used as a roadmap for research and development (as discussed below, project members are currently involved in funding proposals aimed at taking this concept further). The potential impacts of implementing the concept are wide-ranging. Broadly, the MetaCDM concept has the following aims:
• Improving passenger satisfaction by reducing door-to-door travel time, reducing uncertainty, and better information provision.
• Reducing congestion in airport terminals, both under normal conditions (as passengers spend less unnecessary time in the terminal) and in crisis situations.
• Helping airlines to better maintain schedules by reducing the uncertainty associated with late passenger arrival at the gate
• Allowing stakeholders to optimize resource allocation (for example, improving prediction of how many immigration desks will need to be open at a given time in a given airport)

EXPECTED IMPACTS BY INDIVIDUAL STAKEHOLDERS
Implementation of a MetaCDM concept would have significant beneficial effects for passengers and sector stakeholders alike. Whilst there are system compatibility, data, communications, trust and other issues to address, it is believed that the prospect of long term gains will encourage stakeholders to engage positively with the MetaCDM debate.
The benefits split broadly into two areas. In the first case, the aviation system is operating normally or with mild delays. In this case, the primary difference passengers could expect to see in a MetaCDM-enabled journey is that they will receive more information that enables them to streamline their journey and to reduce uncertainty; for example, better estimates of when to leave home for the airport based on real-time information about traffic, check-in and security queues. The primary difference airlines, airports and other stakeholders can expect is better information about where passengers are, enabling them to better plan and use resources. In the second case, there is major disruption with long delays and/or cancelled flights. In this case, passengers benefit from earlier and better information about any changes to their flight, and a greater range of alternative options if their flight is cancelled.
Depending on the alternative option they choose, the arrival time of these passengers at their destination may also be significantly earlier. Based on based on an analysis of flight and ground transport journey times between the fifty busiest airports in Europe in 2012, we get the percentage of passengers who could arrive at their destination earlier by ground transportation rather than waiting for a later flight, by time to the next flight. For a ten-hour time to next flight, around 50% of passengers can potentially arrive sooner by ground transportation. In practice, the time to next available flight depends on the airline’s schedule, the number of cancellations and the number of available seats on operating flights.
We also estimate the MetaCDM impact on mean delay and per-passenger delay cost for a hypothetical ten-hour airport closure situation. Delay costs are estimated using hard and soft cost of passenger delay estimates by delay length, and estimates of ticket price and the number of passengers requesting ticket cost reimbursement. Whilst it appears that a potentially large impact on mean passenger delay at their final destination on offering ground transportation alternatives (typically more than halving the mean passenger delay in our hypothetical ten-hour closure situation), this must be offset against the cost of providing the alternative transport. A saving of €50 - €150 (year 2012 euros) in terms of delay cost to the airline per passenger is typical, and results mainly from a reduced need to provide overnight hotel accommodation. This is lower than many long-distance walk-up train fares but compares favourably with advance rail ticket prices, indicating any MetaCDM implementation would need to involve pre-arranged agreements between airlines and rail companies, similar to those currently in place between airlines and hotels, to provide services to stranded air passengers at less than walk-up prices. In this scenario, airlines would likely make a small financial gain but a larger reputational one from implementing crisis MetaCDM, and passengers would have the option of a substantial time saving.

Journey time is, however, only one of a range of criteria by which passenger journeys are judged. The European Norm EN 13816:2002-07 defines eight quality criteria connected to passenger satisfaction: availability (the extent of the service offered in terms of geography, time, frequency and transport mode); accessibility; information; time; customer support; comfort; safety; and environmental impact. Implementing MetaCDM should produce clear benefits in terms of shorter journey time and better information, both under undisrupted and disrupted conditions. The environmental impact is also projected to be similar to or lower than the undisrupted baseline. We would also anticipate that implementing this concept could have a positive impact in terms of availability, social equity and accessibility, provided that these concerns are kept in mind during the implementation process. For example, switching modes in cases of disruption is currently only open to those passengers who have the resources (in terms of money, technology and knowledge) and confidence to do so. One aim of MetaCDM is to open up this process to a greater proportion of passengers. Customer support is a more complex issue since MetaCDM is envisaged to provide greater support via electronic means, potentially leading to a reduction in face-to-face support. Whilst some passengers will be happy with this shift, others may not be (however, there should be no requirement for these passengers to use MetaCDM). Actual and perceived safety and comfort should be improved (for example, passengers should be able to spend more time at home and less in queues in disrupted situations) but passengers may also have the option to trade off comfort and journey time if they wish to. For example, taking a night coach may be less comfortable than staying in a hotel and taking a flight the following day, but a passenger who strongly values arriving as soon as possible may wish to choose this option.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
For the types of major disruptive events targeted by MetaCDM total environmental impacts are likely to be lower than they would be in the non-disrupted case. For less severe disruption, improved passenger information is aimed at streamlining the passenger journey. When disruption is severe enough, passengers may be given advice that leads them to take another mode. In this case, environmental impacts can be assessed by comparing the GHG-intensity of different modes. Mode-switching in response to disruption is likely to apply primarily to short-haul flights which have significantly higher emissions per passenger-kilometre (pkm) than nearly all other transport modes. In particular, redirecting passengers to existing bus and train services is likely to roughly quarter the emissions associated with those trips compared with the equivalent air journey.

Because disruptive events involving cancellations lead to fewer flights taking off and landing, noise and local emissions will also be lower than the non-disrupted case. As the MetaCDM concept assumes that passengers taking ground transport modes will join existing services, only marginal increases in environmental impacts from increased load factors on these services are anticipated.

List of Websites:
www.meta-cdm.org