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 TFDM supports new services that provide automation to current, manually-intensive operations and replaces critical, outdated systems in the National Airspace System (NAS). TFDM shares electronic data among controllers, air traffic managers, aircraft operators, and airports. It enables stakeholders to more efficiently stage arrivals and departures and manage surface traffic flow. Stakeholders will have a shared awareness of flights on the ground, the ability to exchange data electronically, a constantly updated picture of traffic volume, and more accurate predictive modeling tools to make flights more efficient.

Deployment of TFDM will be composed of the following capabilities:

  • Improved Electronic Flight Data Exchange and Electronic Flight Strips: TFDM will provide improved Electronic Flight Data (EFD) exchange and Electronic Flight Strips (EFS) in the tower to replace paper flight strips. This functionality will automatically update controller displays with the latest flight data.
  • Surface Collaborative Decision Making: TFDM will provide a real-time schedule of all airplanes arriving and departing, which will support departure metering and improve surface traffic flow management.
  • Traffic Flow Management: Integrating TFDM data with other FAA systems, such as TBFM (Time Based Flow Management) and TFMS (Traffic Flow Management System), allows airlines, controllers, and airports to more efficiently manage the flow of an aircraft through all phases of the flight from departure gate to arrival gate. This will result in improved surface traffic management, more efficient en route Traffic Management, and better airport operations.
  • Systems Consolidation: TFDM will replace multiple systems in the National Airspace System through integration of their functionality into TFDM. This achieves technology modernization, sharing of data and lower maintenance costs.
    • Airport Resource Management Tool (ARMT) system
    • Surface Movement Advisor (SMA) system
    • Electronic Flight Strip Transfer System (EFSTS)
    • Advanced Electronic Flight Strips (AEFS)- Prototype
    • SWIM Visualization Tool (SVT)
Last updated: Thursday, December 14, 2023