The Tower Flight Data Manager prototype system
October 16, 2011
The Tower Flight Data Manager (TFDM) will serve as the next generation air traffic control tower automation platform for surface and local airspace operations. TFDM provides three primary enhancements over current systems: consolidation of diverse data and information sources into a single platform; electronic data exchange, including flight data entries, within and outside the tower cab; and a suite of decision support capabilities leveraging TFDM's access to external data sources and systems. This paper describes a TFDM prototype system that includes integrated surveillance, flight data, and decision support display components. Enhancements in airport configuration management, runway assignment, taxi routing, sequencing and scheduling, and departure route assurance are expected to yield significant benefits in delay reduction, fuel savings, additional capacity, improved access, enhanced safety, and reduced environmental impact. Data are provided on system performance and air traffic controller acceptance from simulation studies and a preliminary field demonstration at Dallas / Ft. Worth International Airport.