The EUROCONTROL Network Manager wins the Network Performance Improvement Award for the “NM 4ACC initiative” at the SES Awards
Today, the EUROCONTROL Network Manager (NM) and partners received the European Commission’s prestigious Single European Sky (SES) Network Performance Improvement Award at the World ATM Congress in Madrid, for the “NM 4ACC initiative”, which helped reduce the expected European network en-route ATFM delay by more than 5 million minutes.
The NM 4ACC initiative saw NM bring together for the first time four en-route centres (NATS in London, DSNA in Reims, EUROCONTROL’s Maastricht UAC and DFS’s Karlsruhe UAC) to draw up a common plan to manage the optimisation of the available capacity across some of the most critical parts of the European ATM network. The initiative was made possible by the active support of 11 other ANSPs, which helped handle additional traffic flows and supported the mitigation actions agreed to at a network level, making the initiative a genuinely ground-breaking, network-level success.
The initiative confirmed NM’s pivotal role in mitigating many of the causes of delay in its role of improving the European ATM performance via network centric measures in close coordination with network actors. “NM 4ACC” helped reduce massively delays across some of the world’s most complex airspace – an achievement all the more necessary in a summer that saw new traffic highs, and pushed capacity issues to the top of the policy agenda. The mitigation measures agreed by all participating ACCs allowed them to minimise the negative consequences of a lack of capacity in summer 2018 from a network perspective.
The initiative’s roots lay in the experience of summer 2017, which saw major traffic growth with sub-optimal operational performance: EUROCONTROL’s NM concluded that pursuing cross-border solutions and taking a more coordinated network approach would be essential to tackle similar challenges in summer 2018 and make the best use of capacity.
The SES Network Performance Improvement Award for the initiative is a recognition of the added value NM brings to the Single European Sky. “NM 4ACC” successfully demonstrated how network performance can be raised by taking an increasingly cross/multi-border perspective to ensure appropriate capacity evolution. This involved coordinating operational measures to make better use of existing capacity, and putting European concepts of subsidiarity and proportionality into action.
The whole experience of identifying a network solution with the full cooperation of all actors provides a solid foundation for even more ambitious network initiatives in summer 2019 and beyond, which will see the EUROCONTROL Network Manager and air navigation service providers working together to manage the capacity challenges of the future.