Improved Surface Operations focuses on improved airport surveillance information, automation to support airport configuration management and runway assignments and enhanced cockpit displays to provide increased situational awareness for controllers and pilots.
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Phases of Flight

A diagram depicting the Phases of Flight: Flight Planning; Pushback, Taxi, Takeoff, Domestic and Oceanic Cruise, Descent, Final Approach, and Landing, Taxi.  OI 1: 102406 applies to both Taxi Phases of Flight.  OI 2: 103207 applies to the Pushback and Final Approach Phases of Flight.  OI 4: 104207 applies to both Taxi Phases of Flight.  OI 5: 104209 applies to the Pushback Phase of Flight.

Timeline for Achieving OIs and Capabilities

OI 102406: Provide Full Surface Situation Information (2016-2019) Ð The current timeline spans from FY 2012 to FY 2016 and beyond.  Situational Awareness and Alerting of Ground Vehicles will be available in FY 2014.  OI 103207: Improved Runway Safety Situational Awareness for Controllers (2012-2016) Ð The current timeline spans from FY 2012 to FY 2016 and beyond.  Expansion of Surface Surveillance is currently in development and will be available in FY 2016 (see note 1).  OI 103208: Improved Runway Safety Situational Awareness for Pilots (2012-2016) (see note 2) Ð The current timeline spans from FY 2012 to FY 2016.  Work on Improve Low-Visibility Taxi (EFVS) will begin in FY 2016.  OI 104207: Enhanced Surface Traffic Operations (2014-2018) Ð The current timeline spans from FY 2012 to FY 2016 and beyond.  Revised Departure Clearance via Data Comm is currently in development and its availability date has been pushed back from FY 2015 to FY 2016 and beyond (see note 3).  OI 104209: Initial Surface Traffic Management (2012-2017) (see note 4) Ð The current timeline spans from FY 2012 to FY 2016 and beyond.  Provide Initial Surface Management System is currently in the concept stage and will be available in FY 2015 (see note 5).  Work on Stand up TFDM Scheduler/Sequencer, Migrate to Electronic Flight Data Exchange, Integrate Surveillance Data with Flight Data (Surface), and Establish Enhanced Data Exchange with Flight Operators (FOC) will begin in FY 2016 (see note 6).

1 Formerly Airport Surface Surveillance Capability (ASSC).

2 Surface Indications/Alerts (SURF-IA) is in the concept maturity phase and the implementation time frame is being revisited.

3 Timeline updated to reflect contract award.

4 Departure Routing Increment 1 2012 has moved to Collaborative ATM portfolio, name changed to Route Availability Planning 2013, timeline updated to reflect program baseline.

5 New capability added for 2015 timeframe to provide initial surface traffic management.

6 Airport Configuration Management, Runway Assignments, Scheduling and Sequencing, and Taxi Routing capabilities associated with this OI have been updated to reflect current agency plans.

Selected Work Activities

1 OI 102406: Provide Full Surface Situation Information (2016-2019)

Budget

FY 2012

  • Completed: Published vehicle ADS-B advisory circular
  • Completed: Declare situational awareness and alerting of ground vehicles operationally available at

FY 2013

  • Deploy additional squitter units at
    • BOS

FY 2014+

  • Establish FAA infrastructure that supports of ground vehicle surveillance at:
    • DEN
    • ORD

2 OI 103207: Improved Runway Safety Situational Awareness for Controllers (2012-2016)

Budget

FY 2012

  • Completed: Awarded contract for Expansion of Surface Surveillance

FY 2013

  • Initiate factory acceptance testing

FY 2014+

  • Deploy Expansion of Surface Surveillance for operational use at
    • SFO
    • PDX
    • ANC
    • MCI
    • MSY
    • PIT
    • CVG
    • CLE
    • ADW


4 OI 104207: Enhanced Surface Traffic Operations (2014-2018)

Budget

FY 2012

  • Completed: Achieved final investment decision for Data Comm tower service

FY 2013

  • Complete Revised Departure Clearance (DCL) trials procedures and training development

FY 2014+

  • Deploy revised DCL via Data Comm for operational use to suitably equipped operators operators

5 OI 104209: Initial Surface Traffic Management (2012-2017)

Budget

  • Supported by NextGen Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM)

FY 2012

  • Completed: Completed installation of Data Distribution Units at Airport Surface Detection Equipment-Model X (ASDE-X) and Airport Surface Detection Equipment-Model 3 (ASDE-3)/multilateration locations. Provide data dissemination capability at:
    • DEN
    • MDW
    • MKE
    • MSP
    • SLC
    • ORD
  • Completed: Published FAA Order 1200.22E

FY 2013

  • Complete documentation in support of an initial investment decision for TFDM

FY 2014+

  • Complete documentation in support of a final investment decision for TFDM
  • External Surface Data Release - Publish to NEMS from all sites that have ASDE-X and ASSC
  • Provide Initial Surface Management System to selected sites

Descriptions of OIs and Capabilities

In Concept
Exploration
In
Development
Available
at least one site
1 OI 102406: Provide Full Surface Situation Information
Automated broadcast of aircraft and vehicle position to ground and aircraft sensors/receivers provides a digital display of the airport environment. Aircraft and vehicles are identified and tracked to provide a full comprehensive picture of the surface environment to air navigation service providers (ANSP), equipped aircraft, and flight operations centers.

Surface situation information will complement visual observation of the airport surface. Decision support system algorithms will use enhanced target data to support identification and alerting of those aircraft at risk of runway incursion.

In addition, non-ANSP functions, such as airport operations (movement and non-movement areas) and security operations, will benefit from information exchange and situational awareness of surface position and movement of aircraft and equipped vehicles.
Available (at least one site)

Situational Awareness and Alerting of Ground Vehicles
Equipment compatible with airport surface surveillance, e.g., ADS-B Out, will be installed in airport ground vehicles that operate in the movement area. The capability will allow the surface surveillance equipment to display a target representing equipped ground vehicles on air traffic control tower displays and on aircraft cockpit electronic surface maps. The equipment will also be compatible with runway incursion indicating and alerting capabilities, warning controllers of ground vehicles entering an active runway similarly to warnings for intruding aircraft.

2 OI 103207: Improved Runway Safety Situational Awareness for Controllers
At large airports, current controller tools provide surface displays and can alert controllers when aircraft taxi into areas where a runway incursion could result. Additional ground-based capabilities, including expansion of runway surveillance technology, e.g., ASDE-X, to additional airports, will be developed to improve runway safety.

Task Force: Surface

In Development

Expansion of Surface Surveillance
Nine airports using the ASDE-3/Airport Movement Area Safety System for situational awareness and surveillance of the airport surface, and not scheduled to receive ASDE-X, will receive the ASSC. ASSC receives inputs from multilateration system sensors, ADS-B, and Airport Surveillance Radar/Mode Select terminal radars. This will provide a fused target position of all transponder-equipped aircraft and ADS-B-equipped ground vehicles on the airport surface movement area, as well as aircraft flying within five miles of the airport, for display in the airport control tower. The ASDE-3 primary surface radar will be decommissioned after ASSC installation.

3 OI 103208: Improved Runway Safety Situational Awareness for Pilots
Runway safety operations are improved by providing pilots with improved awareness of their location on the airport surface as well as runway incursion alerting capabilities. Additional enhancements may include cockpit displays of surface traffic, e.g., vehicles and aircraft, and the use of a cockpit display that depicts the runway environment.
In Concept Exploration

Improve Low-Visibility Taxi (EFVS)
The FAA and industry are partnering to develop a taxi benefit for aircraft equipped with certified enhanced vision systems. Currently, Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS)-equipped operators can use their EFVS only for approved situational awareness and safety while on the ground. Some operators have requested that they be authorized taxi benefits when their company's weather minimums are lower than an airport's weather operating minimums and if their aircraft are equipped with EFVS. The FAA is evaluating the feasibility of this request in concert with other activities related to improved low-visibility surface operations.

4 OI 104207: Enhanced Surface Traffic Operations
Terminal automation provides the ability to transmit automated terminal information, departure clearances and amendments and taxi route instructions via Data Comm, including hold-short instructions.
In Development

Revised DCL via Data Comm
A DCL Data Comm capability will allow controllers to rapidly issue departure clearance revisions, due to weather or other airspace issues, to one or more aircraft equipped with Data Comm. The use of Data Comm for this type of capability has both safety and efficiency benefits over the current voice-based method of communications between controllers and pilots. This initial implementation of DCL is planned for radios and Future Air Navigation System messaging as the link scheme.

Task Force: Data Communications for Revised Departure Clearance, Weather Reroutes and Routine Communications (39)

5 OI 104209: Initial Surface Traffic Management
Departures are sequenced and staged to maintain throughput. ANSP uses automation to integrate surface movement operations with departure sequencing to ensure aircraft meet departure schedule times while optimizing the physical queue in the movement area.

Task Force: Surface

In Concept Exploration

Provide Initial Surface Management System
This increment will provide an initial surface situational awareness capability to FAA facilities outside of the Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), specifically in the Traffic Management Unit for Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), Air Route Traffic Control Centers or Air Traffic Control System Command Center. This capability will provide improved knowledge of surface congestion in these facilities, and improved coordination of air traffic control and Traffic Flow Management actions across several facilities. It is envisioned to include a display of the current surface situation, e.g., using ASDE-X data.

In Concept Exploration

Stand Up TFDM Scheduler/Sequencer
This capability generates and displays a projected runway schedule showing arrival and departure demand, improving departure schedule integrity. It provides Traffic Flow Management constraints to tower controllers, such as Expected Departure Clearance Times. This capability also generates and disseminates flight state data.

In Concept Exploration

Migrate to Electronic Flight Data Exchange
This capability provides for the introduction of Electronic Flight Strip capability in the ATCT, including updated flight coordination with TRACON, and potentially also including the replacement of the interface with En Route Automation Modernization. It replaces paper flight strips and several prototype electronic flight strip implementations.

In Concept Exploration

Integrate Surveillance Data with Flight Data (Surface)
This capability is intended to integrate surface surveillance functionality (e.g. ASDE-X, ASSC), including safety logic, onto a more capable platform. This will include the integration of full flight plan information with surveillance data, and also provide the basis for Surface Traffic Management.

In Concept Exploration

Establish Enhanced Data Exchange with Flight Operators (FOC)
This increment will provide architecture, data standards, and policy for FAA to exchange data with flight operators. FAA will make surface flow management data and plans available to flight operators. In return, flight operators will make updated flight-specific information, including updates of pushback readiness times and parking locations available to FAA. Policy and procedures will govern how the information is shared, how the data can be used, and how flight operators participate. Exact data to be exchanged will be determined by the Collaborative Decision-Making process.