In parallel to the installation of an operational A-SMGCS (Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System) DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (DFS), Hamburg Airport (FHG) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR e.V., Institute of Flight Guidance) agreed on the cooperation on installing and operating a unique field test platform for research and development in the field of Air Traffic Management and Airport Operation. The cooperation offers a large variety of opportunities for airport stakeholders and academia. Based on the cooperation the partners started in 2006 to setup the Airport Research and Innovation Facility Hamburg called ARIF.

Existing research infrastructure like Apron-, Tower- or Airport Control Center simulators are extended with an important operational component. The ARIF is providing a unique platform for developing, testing, evaluation and validation of future support systems in an operational environment of a midsize airport.

Essential advantages have been identified as:

  • Use of real-time data during development,
  • Short cycles between innovative ideas and feedback of operational people,
  • Direct evaluation of existing system components,
  • Test of new concepts and future technology without operational implementation and
  • Optimal infrastructure for shadow mode trials

Research Areas

Besides the research focusing on the higher levels of A-SMGCS like Planning and Guidance, the Airport Research and Innovation Facility Hamburg is also designed to allow research in the context of Total Airport Management (TAM) and Performance Based Airport Management (PBAM). The partners have identified the need of development and implementation of an integrated airport management with a common data set. The Airport Research and Innovation Facility Hamburg can provide the framework for this new approach towards a solution for more efficient resource utilization and a holistic airport management system for airside and landside processes, based on implemented Airport-CDM compliant systems and processes.

With a common research agenda partners coordinate the areas of work that should be considered and prioritise relevant projects. A continuous adaption of the agenda ensures a flexible adjustment in the use of the platform and allows reaction on developments in the aviation sector, especially in the dynamic context of SESAR and SESAR2020.