A seamless sky

Airport lounge window

This debate was aimed at highlighting the principal operational challenges that face the airlines, airports and other industry players in establishing a truly integrated system of aviation collaborative decision-making (A-CDM)

On 12 January 2012, we hosted the third in a series of roundtable events under Chatham House Rule. This roundtable on delivering a step change in Airport-Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) was  held in partnership with Flight International to get key influencers talking about shared issues. The discussion opened with BAA talking about their experiences at Heathrow.

Key issues and outcomes

Four key topics were explored: 

  • What are the benefits of A-CDM?
  • What are the barriers to more extensive A-CDM?
  • Is weather information utilised fully? How can it be integrated into A-CDM?
  • What tools are needed to deliver consistent communications across the aviation industry to ensure effective A-CDM?

What are the benefits of A-CDM?

The group acknowledged the importance of all agents involved in A-CDM sharing information to achieve a common situational awareness, particularly in times of crisis. In future, when the weather takes a turn for the worse, it's important to avoid airports saying one thing, airlines saying another, the police issuing their own travel advice and the media reporting something else. A-CDM could bring real advantages in these areas and would be of ultimate benefit when all airports, airlines, NATS (New Aviation Tool Set) and EUROCONTROL, (the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation), were linked into the same system - nationwide, Europe-wide or even worldwide - through SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) or, perhaps, SWIM (System Wide Aviation Management). 

What are the barriers to a more extensive A-CDM?

Top-down leadership was needed locally before A-CDM could be implemented as it required the buy-in of all airport staff (operations, IT, HR, commercial, procurement etc), agents (airlines, ground handlers, NATS, the Civil Aviation Authority and third parties such as the Met Office and the Metropolitan Police etc). Airports would also have to see compelling cost analyses and demonstrable benefits of A-CDM.

Is weather information utilised fully? How can it be integrated into A-CDM? 

The group recognised the benefits of the aviation community joining the NHP (Natural Hazards Partnership) to look at ways of making weather warnings more useful to airports. In time, and with the input of EUROCONTROL, the Hazard Centre could even have a European reach. 

What tools are needed to deliver consistent communications across the aviation industry to ensure effective A-CDM? 

The group agreed that it was the employer's responsibility to make sure external contractors received the same level of information as others at the airport to ensure effective A-CDM.

More information

Download a detailed summary of the roundtable here:

Aviation roundtable summary Aviation roundtable summary (PDF, 978 kB)

For more information on aviation issues in general, please contact: David Gibbs, Aviation Business Manager, on +44 (0)1392 884228 or email david.gibbs@metoffice.gov.uk.

Last updated: 24 January 2013

  • Met Office conversations
    Read about our range of roundtable debates

  • Aviation
    A range of forecasting services designed to help reduce the impact of the weather on aviation operations.

  • OpenRunway
    Clear and easy to use, helping you keep schedules running to time.

  • ClearFlight
    Our new global briefing system is designed to make aviation weather information easier to access and interpret.

  • WeatherWindows
    An innovative aviation resource planning tool allowing decision makers to plan weather dependent tasks up to 15 days ahead