Dallas/Fort Worth field demonstration #2 (DFW-2) final report for Tower Flight Data Manager (TFDM)
May 16, 2012
The Tower Flight Data Manager (TFDM) is the next generation air traffic control tower (ATCT) information system that integrates surveillance, flight data, and other sources, which enables advanced decision support tools (DSTs) to improve departure and arrival efficiency and reduce fuel burn at the airport. TFDM was exercised as a prototype installed at the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) during a two-week demonstration in the spring of 2011 termed DFW-2. MIT Lincoln Laboratory conducted this demonstration for the FAA in coordination with DFW air traffic control (ATC) and the DFW airport authority. The objective of this TFDM field demonstration was to validate the operational suitability and refine production system requirements of the Tower Information Display System (TIDS) surface surveillance display and Flight Data Manager (FDM) electronic flight data display and to evaluate the first iteration of the Supervisor Display and DSTs. These objectives were met during the two-week field demonstration. Results indicated that the TIDS and FDM exhibited capabilities considered operationally suitable for the tower as an advisory system and as a primary means for control given surface surveillance that is approved for operational use. Human factors data indicated that TIDS and FDM could be beneficial. The prototype Supervisor Display and DSTs met a majority of the technical performance criteria, but fewer than half of the human factors success criteria were met. As this was the first iteration of the Supervisor Display and DST capabilities, subsequent prototype iterations to achieve the target concept of operations, functionality and information presentation with accompanying field demonstrations to evaluate these honed capabilities were recommended and expected. FLM/TMC feedback will help refine subsequent system design.