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. TFDM is also tasked with replacing prototype systems; Airspace Technology Demonstration (ATD-2) and Advanced Electronic Flight Strips (AEFS). Departure Spacing Program (DSP), Airport Resource Management Tool (ARMT), and Electronic Flight Strip Transfer System (EFSTS) are being replaced by Terminal Flight Data Manager as well.
As of Feb 11th, 2021, TFDM has the resources to deploy and implement to the early waterfall sites. Key site for electronic flight strips, Phoenix (PHX), and key site for Build 2 software Charlotte (CLT) which contains SMN (Surface Management) are funded at this time and resources allocated. However, more funding is required to keep the vendor (Leidos) moving forward with deployment of the remaining waterfall and to sustain existing systems once deployed. In addition, system enhancements required by specific sites as deployment continues through 2025 may need to be funded. There are 89 sites total on the TFDM waterfall and without additional funding from the JRC TFDM may need to cut the number of sites. TFDM plans to approach the JRC later this year. If COVID restrictions remain in place and we cannot deploy to PHX it would delay a JRC re-baseline effort in 2021.
Due to a Corrective Action Report (CAR) changes to the way aircraft types are processed throughout the NAS will be changing. Don’t expect it too soon though. FAA Requirements oversees finding a solution which ERAM, STARS, FDIO and TFDM need to incorporate in their systems. This change will check entered aircraft types against a list of approved aircraft type identifiers to ensure all systems which display separation standards such as ATPA (Automated Terminal Proximity Alert) work properly. TFDM may need to update software on the FDIO emulator to ensure if an unapproved aircraft type is entered into the system it will give the proper warning. Mr. Rose is working closely with Mark Ostronic (NATCA Requirements Article 114) to ensure understanding of what each program is doing and how it will affect TFDM.
On Jan 19th, Mr. Rose took part in a Houston (IAH) demo for Build 2 metering. Chris Espada was the NATCA IAH rep taking part in the demo which showcased the impact TFDM would have on IAH’s surface congestion. IAH advised that some changes had taken place when it comes to runway usage and the team is acting on this new information to adjust the metering plan.
During the TFDM National workgroup meeting it was brought to our attention that Albuquerque (ABQ) would like to be considered for a site receiving TFDM. After much discussion between AJT (FAA Air Traffic), AJV-S (FAA Requirements), PMO (Program Management Office), and NATCA it was determined to not proceed forward at this time. ABQ would like to replace their drop tubes for strips and with the coming change to FDIO they will be able to take advantage and terminate use of the drop tubes without TFDM.
TFDM will be changing the way PTR (Program Trouble Reports), CR (Change Requests), and DR (Discrepancy Reports) are handled between the agency and the vendor. Moving forward all items will be placed in the AIMS (Automation Issues Management System) database.
Engineering Services (ES) and the PMO are still exploring how to go about acquiring the proper display stands for monitors which will not be imbedded inside a cabinet. There are no stands on the market, nor can ES create the amount of stands necessary to complete the deployment. Currently PHX is using the stands that were made for AEFS monitors as a temporary solution, only for the 24 in monitor. The larger and much heavier 32-inch display stand is not safe enough to put into use unless it is mounted inside a cabinet. Consensus was reached with all parties agreeing that a contract and procurement process should start as soon as possible. Requirements documents have been agreed upon by all parties. The next meeting is scheduled for the last week in February.