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Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) - Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is TFDM?

    Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) is a tower-based Next Generation (NextGen) Air Transportation System program that improves surface management and efficiency. TFDM supports new services that provide automation to current, manually-intensive operations and replaces critical, outdated systems in the National Airspace System (NAS).
    Learn more details.

2) What are the benefits of TFDM?

    TFDM benefits include:
    • Improved Predictability
    • Collaborative Decisions
    • Environmental Friendliness
    • Real-time Accuracy
    • System Modernization
    • Consolidated Systems
    • Improved Safety
    The system will save 313 million gallons of fuel and reduce over 3 million metric tons of carbon emissions during its lifetime.
    Learn more about TFDM’s benefits

3) When will TFDM implementation begin?

    TFDM capabilities will be implemented incrementally in a phased approach throughout the life of the program. System development, integration, and testing will occur from 2016 to 2021. TFDM implementation is projected to begin at the first site in 2020 and complete at all 89 sites by 2028.
    See the implementation schedule for the 89 sites

4) What sites will be receiving TFDM?

    Site selection is based on operational benefits and the impact of installation and deployment on the NAS. TFDM provides two configurations that consist of different levels of TFDM capabilities which can be achieved by turning functions on and off through adaptation. TFDM Configuration A provides the entire suite of TFDM capabilities. TFDM Configuration B provides Electronic Flight Data with some limited traffic flow data, limited airport resource management capability, and limited surface scheduling capability. Currently, the TFDM system is planned to be deployed to 89 airports consisting of 93 ATCTs. Of those airports, 27 are planned to receive TFDM Configuration A and 62 are planned to receive TFDM Configuration B.
    Learn more about which configuration will be deployed at each site.

5) How will TFDM be implemented?

    The TFDM implementation strategy consists of a multiple-build approach. The first deployment build is planned to achieve Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in 2020 and consists of processing of electronic flight data and Electronic Flight Strips (EFS); processing of traffic flow data; partial airport resource management capabilities; and partial surface scheduling capability. The second deployment build is planned to achieve IOC in the second quarter of fiscal year 2021, and consists of surface metering which provides users the ability to meter departure flights; additional airport resource management capability; and additional surface scheduling capability.

6) Who will be implementing TFDM?

    In June 2016, the TFDM Program Office awarded the contract to develop and implement the TFDM system to Leidos and main subcontractor Saab Sensis. The TFDM Program Office and FAA’s Engineering Services and Technical Operations will work with Leidos to implement the system at all locations and transition to full operations.

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