ATM Modernization, Commercial

Europe ANSPs Gear Up for Olympics

By Tish Drake | July 27, 2012
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Eric Bruneau, director operations of the French
Direction Service Navigation Aerienne, and Chris
Stadler, head of operations Maastricht UAC,
observe operations at the FABEC Olympic cell
in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

With the London Olympic Games set to start Friday, air traffic management players in Europe have geared up to ensure the safe and expeditious flow of traffic across the network, in particular to and from the London airports.

Eurocontrol and the six Functional Airspace Block Europe Central (FABEC) states — Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland — have set up a common air traffic flow management unit at the Maastricht Upper Area Control Center (MUAC) to handle the additional 100 flights per day in the congested London airspace. The Air Traffic Flow and Capacity Management–Airspace Management (ATFCM-ASM) unit, which combines civilian and military forces working for the FABEC states, will apply the so-called “Extended Pre-tactical ATFCM/ASM” process, which will reduce the number of interfaces and ensures optimum coordination with the civil and military partners to the benefit airspace users.

“”Together, with our civil and military partners, we considered that airspace, air traffic flow and capacity issues need to be managed at the scale of the FABEC airspace, and the Olympics Games give the right opportunity to bring the appropriated benefits for our customers in such particular traffic situation,”” said Eric Bruneau, director of operations of the French air navigation service provider (DSNA), in charge of the development of the ATFCM/ASM program inside FABEC.

The FABEC Olympics Cell will be operational each day from 6:00 until 12:30 local time to cover the entire FABEC airspace, irrespective of country borders. The cell started operations on Tuesday and will be operational until Aug. 13, the day after the Olympics end. It will be manned by staff from MUAC, DSNA and Belgocontrol as well as by staff from Royal Netherlands Air Force and Belgian Air Force.

“”This large-scale operational solution … adds a new dimension to what already exists today and is therefore a concrete example of the added value that synergies between FABEC civil and military organizations can bring to the network,”” said MUAC Director Jac Jansen.

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