Expert Webinar: Metering with a Focus on Winter Deicing

Mature businessman using laptop in airport, side view, close-up

On March 16th, PASSUR hosted a webinar about departure metering, with a focus on winter/deicing operations — part of an ongoing series of webinars we are organizing on a range of topics important to aviation stakeholders.

Jason Ciffolillo, Toronto Pearson Airport, gave some background on Toronto Airport. Jason reviewed the problems Toronto is targeting with surface metering:

  • Limited strategic planning for deicing events
  • Extra workload on Resource Management Unit (RMU) and Apron Management Unit (AMU)
  • Extra workload on airlines
  • Gate holds/pushback delays
  • Long queues to the deicing pad
  • Numerous gate returns for fuel
  • Unnecessary cancellations
  • Excess fuel burn

Jason reviewed Toronto Pearson’s goals:

  • Maintain the daily flight schedule as much as safely practical during periods of reduced departure capacity
  • Provide a fair, equitable, transparent and systematic procedure for the allocation of limited departure slots based on mix of schedule, actual demand, and capacity
  • Enable airlines to plan for and carry out flight delay, consolidation and cancellation activities as required
  • Manage the flow of aircraft to the Central Deicing Facility (CDF) or runway, thereby reducing the congestion on the maneuvering area surfaces, eliminating unnecessary fuel burn and minimizing inconvenience for the traveling public
  • Enable ATC and Airport Operations to effectively manage traffic flows and ground facilities during severe weather conditions or reduced runway capacity situations

Mark Libby, PASSUR Air Traffic Management Specialist, reviewed how a metering program could be used for any type of chokepoint on the airport, e.g. taxiway construction, runway closures and even congestion on the surface. A metering program can be initiated and run by the airport or airline. Mark said surface metering is a highly collaborative program that provides “Common Situational Awareness” to all involved and is very transparent to the users. Mark added that GTAA makes the program available for any Traffic Management Initiative (TMI) and is transparent to all users including Nav Canada.

One of the key features of the PASSUR software is integrating data feeds from airlines and the Airport Operational Database (AODB). This allows for automatic updates of airline cancellation and delays, to reduce manual workload. Mark then reviewed the metering components:

  • Slot Calculator: uses a Ration By Schedule allocation process to model and then automatically create the initial slot assignment program for the entire airport
  • Departure Slot Allocation Manager: one-stop-shop screen for the slot allocator to manage slot assignments
  • Departure Slot Allocation List: displays all assigned slots
  • Terminal Screen: airline display and slot management
  • Cancelled/Exempt Flights: automatically displays arrival and departure cancellations
  • PASSUR OPSnet Archives: numerous reports for performance analysis