Airports Call for Swift ATM Reform

At the 12th ACI Airport Exchange conference and exhibition taking from November 27-29 in Oslo, hosted by Norwegian airport group AVINOR, the capacity challenge facing European air transport came into the spotlight once again.

Echoing Eurocontrol’s 2018 Challenges of Growth report and taking stock of the disruptions experienced by air travellers over the summer months, the airport industry urged long overdue ATM (Air Traffic Management) reform.

Releasing a new position on European Airspace, ACI EUROPE stressed how ATM disruptions and inefficiencies affect airport operations all the way into terminal buildings. These ATM disruptions and inefficiencies end up deteriorating the passenger’s airport experience and lead to reduced revenues and additional costs for airports. They also affect surrounding communities whenever delayed flights depart/land in breach of night operating restrictions.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE commented: “Beyond passengers and airlines, airports are also impacted by ATM disruptions and the inability of airspace to keep up with air traffic growth. The promises of the EU’s Single European Sky project have failed to materialise. It is high time for a reset. We need to see meaningful reform.”

ACI EUROPE said its vision and proposals are focused on a better integration of airspace and ground infrastructure. It noted that despite some progress over the past ten years, through the deployment of operational processes such as A-CDM and new technology, as well as the institution of the Network Manager, airports and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) still operate too much in silos.

Olivier Jankovec said: “Operations at and around airports need to become more coordinated and consolidated and they should be based on open and shared data sets and improved coordination between all involved: airports, airlines, ANSPs and the Network Manager. This is the only way to really place the passenger at the core of operational processes.”

 

ACI EUROPE’s proposals include:

 

  • Establishing a contractual relationship between airports and ATC providers enabling information-sharing and joint processes – including agreed performance goals.

 

  • Successful consolidation of the Airport Operations Plans/Ground Coordinator (AOP/APOC) and the Network Operations plan (NOP).

 

  • Concerted and accelerated technology investment planning by the Network Manager so as to allow more timely deployment of SESAR solutions/concepts.

 

  • Stronger engagement of all actors with SESAR.

 

It said that as technology and digitalisation will continue to drive efficiencies for all actors in European aviation, ACI EUROPE and its members have been actively supporting SESAR innovation and its deployment.

On November 28 ACI EUROPE released SESAR and the Digital Transformation of Europe’s Airports. ACI EUROPE said that “in showcasing the SESAR solutions available to airports, this publication aims at further engaging the airport community in proven technological solutions for more efficient and sustainable airport operations.”