Aviation community exercises power outage scenario

8 February 2017

On 1 and 2 February, the European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell (EACCC) organised a major crisis management exercise at EUROCONTROL’s Brussels headquarters.

The exercise simulated a large-scale power outage in France, Switzerland, Italy and Spain and looked at the impact that this would have on the European aviation network as a whole. Approximately 50 people took part in the exercise, including representatives from the EUROCONTROL Network Manager, the European Commission (DG MOVE, DG ENER), States, air navigation service providers, military, airports and airlines. Also present were the EC’s Joint Research Centre, which provided the tool used to run the exercise, and ENTSOE, the European network of transmission system operators for electricity.

The key objectives of the exercise were to:

  • test the response of aviation to major power failure events, including decision making and interfaces between crisis management and operational organisations in aviation and power supply.
  • test the EACCC coordination with state focal points and stakeholders.
  • provide participating states and organisations with an opportunity to test their existing crisis management processes as far as aviation is concerned and their links to other crisis management processes.
  • test EACCC support to communication in times of crisis.

“The benefit of the exercise comes from the fact that it gives participants a framework to prepare on a national level prior to the exercise, check during the exercise how their national plans would relate to and impact the plans in other countries, and then to reflect on that feedback once the exercise is over,” said Ken Thomas, Head of Network Operations Management Coordination Unit. “We have seen from previous exercises that this preparation results in a much more coherent response across the network as a whole when we are struck by a real crisis.”

The exercise was the 5th such exercise carried out by the EACCC.

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