ACI EUROPE’s Director General, Olivier Jankovec has called for closer co-operation between airports and Air Traffic Management (ATM) to improve performance and sustainability.
Speaking at EUROCONTROL’s Digitally Connected Airports conference, Jankovec highlighted the importance of all players in the aviation ecosystem and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) in particular to work together in managing and developing infrastructure capacity in the air and on the ground.
Airport Operational Centres (APOCs) are local collaborative operational platforms designed to bring together the airport operator, the local ANSP, airlines, ground handlers, police and customs. This facilitates a “constant sharing of information” to ensure a better (and more integrated) use of available airport and airspace capacity. ACI Europe suggest this leads to a reduction in flight delays and cancellations.
“In Europe, airports went through a major business transformation as Governments have stepped back in favour of corporatisation and privatisation. That transformation has clearly led airports to focus on operational efficiency and quality. This is as much about putting the passenger at the forefront of everything we do as making the most of our facilities,” Olivier Jankovec explained.
The association suggest that ANSPs have yet to join APOCs at major European airports, with the exception of London Heathrow where NATS is participating. ACI EUROPE considers that “the establishment of formal contractual relationships between airports and ANSPs would help achieve that.”
Jankovec continued: “Our efforts to achieve more efficiencies require ANSPs to work with airports in a more integrated manner. This means breaking existing operational silos – and finally getting ANSPs to get involved in and support Airports’ Operational Centres.”
These issues have become increasing relevant in the face of the Climate Emergency and the industry’s sustainability drive, Jankovec stressed, adding, “By adding even more pressure on the need for more operational efficiency, the Climate Emergency makes the case for airport & ATM integration a no-brainer. But beyond that, the EU’s climate objectives require an ambitious structural ATM reform that can achieve real de-fragmentation.”