TERMINAL FLIGHT DATA MANAGER (TFDM)
Aaron Rose is the Article 114 Representative for TFDM.
Background: TFDM will provide improvements to flight data coordination and management for ATCT users, as well as enhanced surface traffic flow management capabilities. TFDM will replace ATCT paper flight strips with electronic flight strips, provide automation for electronic flight and airport data management, and interface with other NAS systems to share electronic flight data. In addition, TFDM will provide a suite of capabilities designed to improve traffic flow management including new surface scheduling capabilities, runway load balancing, and will provide surface traffic visualization tools, and traffic flow metrics.
Due to COVID, deployment of TFDM has been delayed and of course we still do not know an exact date which will work moving forward. TFDM is planning two separate dates to shoot for, the end of 2021 and another the first quarter CY2022. Phoenix (PHX) is still the first facility as of now, there has been discussion about Clevland (CLE) moving into that spot but nothing is set in stone. Due to this delay, Charlotte (CLT) which is the first Surface Management (SMN) facility is also delayed until late 2022. CLT uses Airspace Technology Demonstration (ATD-2) which is a prototype surface management tool which NASA developed to prove the benefits of a surface management program (SMP) in the NAS. NASA had committed to support the tool through Sept 2021. With all the COVID related delays a decision has been made to start paying NASA in FY2022 for the support through Operational Readiness Decision (ORD) at CLT. The agency has made this commitment.
NATCA TFDM continues to hold Human Factors workgroup meetings monthly with the vendor. This past month we demonstrated the Airport Resource Management Tool (ARMT) replacement via TFDM. The Skype was recorded, Mike Hoprich (NATCA TFDM TMC) will review with ATL and TBFM NATCA SME Blake Locke.
A decision was made to only hold and schedule Pre-Site Surveys (PSS) on Wednesdays or Thursdays moving forward to ensure a proper air traffic briefing can be held the day prior.
Software improvements are being made daily to ensure Electronic Flight Strips (EFS) can be adapted for use in all types of facilities. Strip markings vary from site to site and changes are being made to accommodate. In addition, facilities which receive flight strips from adjacent sites will continue in this manner. Discussions continue on whether or not these flights will be included in a Surface Metering Program (SMP). As an example, Los Angeles (LAX) receives SMO strips so they can plan on stopping departures for an IFR aircraft departing SMO.
There are two training meetings scheduled for January 2021 in Syracuse, NY. Both are in-person reviews which will most likely be postponed due to the uptick in cases reported in the Northeast.
The TFDM program, with input from NATCA, has decided to handle all testing for SMN software coming out of Leidos. SMN software is also known as Build 2. ANG out of the tech center will receive the first version this month and begin testing in Dec. NATCA TFDM will be involved throughout the process.
TFDM has reached out to Columbus (CMH) air traffic to start the process of deployment. Dates are set for an initial virtual Air Traffic briefing. Ross Costa (RSW), Nate Miller (MDW), and Aaron Rose will hold this meeting with CMH in December.