Like AMAN (Arrival Management) and DMAN (Departure Management), what is the SMAN (Surface Management) all about? Is SMAN a studied concepts, or is it a technical system ? If the SMAN is rather a technical system, so what subsystem does the SMAN included? I find it hard to figure out how the SMAN can accurately decided the aircraft off-block time ?


1 Answer 1


Surface Management (SMAN) is a system that assists air traffic / ground traffic controllers to optimise and control traffic flows on the airport's surface. It provides the functionality of the higher service levels of the Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Constrol System (A-SMGCS) (A-SMGCS Level 3 (Conflict Detection) and A-SMGCS Level 4 (Conflict Resolution, Automatic Planning & Guidance)) .

Specifically, SMAN provides :

  • Routing Service: this generates individual routes for aircraft and vehicles based on a start point (i.e. current position) and destination point, taking into account preferred (taxi) routes, taxiway closures, road closure and routing clearances provided to other mobiles. For aircraft, the routing is typically between the stand and the assigned runway entrance holding point, or runway exit point and stand. For vehicles it can be any two positions on the movement area.

  • Guidance Service: this controls the visual information that flight crews and drivers will receive to help them to follow the assigned route provided by the routing service . This includes control of stop bar lighting and activation of activation of Advanced-Visual Docking Guidance Systems (A-VDGS) at stands. It can also include the switching of the taxiway centre lighting (follow the greens).

  • Safety Support Service: this provides an alert to controllers when it detects conflicting ATC clearances or when an aircraft/vehicle is not following its cleared route.


  • $\begingroup$ So what I get here is SMAN is simply just a Level 3/4 of the A-SMGCS. And the SMAN does not decided the off-block time, but rather than to help optimize effectively the off-block time, right sir ? Your two references above is really helpful, if possible, could you give me more references about the SMAN please ? Really appreciate your answer sir! It's a great help for my research. Sorry for my poor English if i made any mistake, have a nice day ! $\endgroup$ Jan 25 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ The Target Off Block Time is set by the aircraft operator and/or ground handling agent. It is an estimate of when the aircraft is ready to go ( doors closed, boarding bridge removed, push back vehicle available and ready to start up / push back immediately upon reception of clearance from the Tower). This is an input into the SMAN and DMAN. The SMAN can provide accurate estimates of the taxi times to runway entrance holding points, the DMAN keeps a file on (departure) runway usage and slots. Combined, the departure plan is made. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Jan 26 at 13:13

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