Munich, Frankfurt, Langen, Berlin, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Leipzig – in all these cities, tower and airport colleagues sat in front of their computers on the morning of 1 December, wishing they were in Düsseldorf instead.
That was where Linda Gerritsen, Local CDM Manager and designated host of the 13th Harmonization Meeting, was also sitting in front of her own laptop and staring unhappily into her webcam. "I miss you," was one of the most frequently heard phrases on that and the following day.
In order to relate to this sentiment, it might help to have worked with the colleagues from airport operators and DFS for a while, who in 2010 decided to join forces and start the German Airport CDM Harmonization Initiative ACDM@GER. Within that group, a spirit of collaboration has since developed that managed to impress the expert jury of the renowned Jane’s ATC Awards enough to nominate it in 2016’s "Runway" category.
The group, recently having welcomed Leipzig/Halle Airport as its newest member, has tasked itself with harmonizing the German Airport CDM implementations as much as possible so airspace users are not confused by a multitude of rules across the country. ACDM@GER also represents its members with a single voice in international working groups.
"Can’t you do it like the Germans?"
This voice currently speaks for a total of seven airports and the German ANSP DFS and is often regarded by other organizations and airline operators as exemplary for how to prevent a proliferation of different procedures and approaches. "In European meetings at Eurocontrol, airline representatives present their experiences and often finish with, ‘Can’t you do it like the Germans?’" says Nico Ruwe and smiles subtly. Mr Ruwe of Flughafen Stuttgart and Erik Sinz of Deutsche Flugsicherung currently lead ACDM@GER as co-chairmen. "You can imagine that makes us somewhat proud," he adds.
Collaborative App Making
The two chairmen are equally proud of their common smartphone app that already contains essential Airport CDM data of four German airports. Its target users are flight crews who seek early information on expected departure runway, departure route (SID) or start-up approval time (TSAT), thereby lightening the load of related questions on DELIVERY frequencies and ATCOs. Development of the app was organized by Berlin’s airport operator FBB on behalf of all airports organized in ACDM@GER, but others are welcome to join as well.
This spirit of collaboration across company lines continues in regular conversations and smaller meetings between the more than 40 individuals, even if this year they mostly took place via web conference only.