The air traffic management (ATM) network’s operational performance in 2011 was considerably better than it was in 2010, as traffic and capacity returned to the levels last seen in 2007.
Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) adopted flexible, dynamic planning and management, which has delivered considerable benefit in terms of capacity.
The Network Management Board asked the Network Manager to work with ANSPs to adopt other tactics to capitalize on these positive results. The Board focussed on 2010’s main operational issues: industrial action, air traffic controller shortages, major projects transition and implementation, crisis management, enhanced network procedures, monitoring and reporting.
Keeping our powder dry …
In May 2012, the Provisional Council (PC) welcomed the good news that the network delay targets are being met but they underlined the dangers of complacency. Investment is essential if the ATM system is to have sufficient capacity when air traffic levels pick up again. The Network Manager (NM) is responsible for monitoring developments and initiating action where necessary.
Turning to network performance, the PC welcomed the Network Manager’s achievements in tackling network performance issues with stakeholders, the ANSPs in particular.
The PC appreciated NM’s initiative to develop an inventory of measures and contingency plans used by ANSPs in handling strikes - a concrete example of the tangible added value that NM brings in dealing with issues that affect the ATM system as a whole. Read the article on staffing issues.
Since our nomination as Network Manager in July 2011, our ways of working have changed.
Today, three key documents describe our goals, obligations and duties in the context of the NM Implementing Rule. More than simply a reference, they are our Bible, describing in detail as they do our commitment to deliver, to help deliver capacity, to meet and help others meet targets, to contribute to overall efficiency:
the Network Strategy Plan (NSP) formally defines the objectives which all actors must implement through concrete actions, in particular those featured in the Network Operations Plan and in the Network Performance Plan. It aims at achieving the performance targets defined in the regulation EU No 691/2010. The period of application of the NSP in 2013-2019 covers the 1st two Reporting Periods (RP1 – 2012-2014 and RP2 – 2015-2019) for the performance scheme.
the Network Manager Performance Plan (NMPP) shows how EUROCONTROL’s Directorate of Network Management will contribute, both directly and indirectly, to network performance.
the Network Operations Plan (NOP) provides a short- to medium-term outlook of how the ATM Network will operate, including expected performance at network and local levels.
We depict the role of Network Manager as being the main facilitator in meeting network targets. So, we give substantial support to our operational stakeholders – ASNPs, airports and civil/military airspace users – in meeting their targets, at local and FAB level.
The Network Manager has a 360° network overview and has profound experience in adopting a holistic approach.
The NM’s main value is in reducing delays. We have tools and procedures at our disposal to assess the situation and, in partnership with our stakeholders, make decisions that will:
guarantee smooth ATM operations
mitigate the impact of any nature of disruption
improve day-to-day operations.
In this dossier, you will find out what the Network Manager does - a little bit of interesting reading, before you enjoy your summer break!