Without integration, it becomes difficult to share information .about passengers, weather, cargo, internal support services, and incoming and outgoing flights due to cost constraint. Other than internal use, this information can be shared with other airports, thus creating a global air transport network. The need to fuse all these data in one system has necessitated the formation of Total Airport Management System (TAMS). This paper will analyze the operations of TAMS, its success, and limitations.
Overview of TAMS
Total Airport Management System (TAMS) refers to a process which controls systems involved in traffic, supply, security and other support functions on airside and landside functions. The airside functions include the operations that relate to an aircraft during arrival, while on the ground and during departure. Landside operations relate to the issues of passenger, baggage and cargo handling. Essentially, this is a form of an integrated system that interconnects all the invaluable information collected at different points to one system (Levine, 2009). To begin with, TAMS is based on performance that facilitates the overall operations of an airport. This is so because the system provides a platform where all the necessary information about cargo, passengers and other services can be obtained whenever required. The performance is based on increased efficiency of Air Traffic Management (ATM). Additionally, from the viewpoint of operations, TAM System offers a time-based structure where every function must be done within a specific time as a pre, during or post-flight procedure (Eriksen & Weir, 2006).
TAMS help in the creation and maintenance of the Airport Operational Plan (AOP). The operational plan sets the procedures and targets that are to be met by the airport in its operation. Through the plan, the decisions arrived at by the air traffic controller are made after considering the information availed from other systems (Varga, 2009). Such information may include the security and safety constraints which are a major consideration in all transport systems. Although TAMS enhances increased automation of airport operations, the system still maintains a significant aspect of human approach. This is because the airport is a service provision point, hence there is a need to maintain a degree of interaction between the passenger and those manning the operations (White, 2002). Additionally, in case of a crisis, it is still the humans who are in charge and could offer solutions. If the airport were a production unit, automation of the overall process would yield the best results.
The TAM System is configured within the normal systems and concepts that are identical to the air transport system. This includes the departmental managers who are in charge of arrival, departure, cargo handling, security and control departments which are all incorporated into one system. Such integration makes the overall operations of air transport more efficient (Levine, 2009). In most countries, airport operations are conducted at individual airports with very little sharing of information apart from the passenger and cargo data. However, for those countries that have embraced the concept of TAMS, their operations stand out in terms of efficiency. For instance, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) has an integrated system where all the operation of its over 40 systems are controlled from one point.