The European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell (EACCC)

In May 2010, the European Commission (EC) and EUROCONTROL jointly established the European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell (EACCC) to coordinate the management of crisis responses in the European ATM network. In addition, the EC included crisis management aspects in the NM implementing rule (NM IR), which lays down detailed rules for the implementation of ATM network functions.

In parallel, the Network Manager developed internal arrangements to support the EACCC in its management of disruptions and crises that adversely impact aviation in Europe. The result was a network disruptions management procedure; this was aligned with the NM IR and published in summer 2011.

Role

The main role of the EACCC is to coordinate the response to those network crisis situations which impact adversely on aviation, in close cooperation with corresponding structures in States.

This includes proposing measures and taking initiatives and, in particular, acquiring and sharing information with the aviation community (decision makers, airspace users and service providers) in a timely manner.

Composition

In accordance with the Network Manager Implementing Rule, the EACCC consists of a single representative of:

  • the EU Member State holding the Presidency of the European Council;
  • the European Commission;
  • EASA;
  • EUROCONTROL;
  • the Network Manager;
  • the military;
  • the Air Navigation Service Providers;
  • airports;
  • airspace users.

The representatives of the Network Manager and the Commission co-chair the meetings of the EACCC.

Experts may be seconded to the EACCC on a case-by-case basis, depending on the specific nature of the crisis.

The EACCC coordinates with relevant State Focal Points from the early stages of the crisis onwards.

Sharing information and linking national contingency plans with others on a network level, as well as coordinating a response with mitigation actions, are essential parts of the EACCC’s role in establishing a consistent approach across Europe.

Steps taken in the event of a crisis

In the event of a crisis:

  • the Network Manager contacts the relevant State Focal Points and those at risk at the beginning of any crisis, as well as relevant expert organisations, depending on the type of crisis (e.g. VAAC, ESA, etc.);
  • the EACCC is convened via meetings or teleconferences;
  • the remaining State Focal Points are contacted;
  • a crisis mitigation policy is discussed, agreed and approved by the EACCC;
  • the relevant State Focal Points provide a link with their internal structures nationally and, where appropriate, coordinate the response in line with their internal procedures;
  • the remaining State Focal Points are contacted;
  • a crisis-mitigation policy is discussed, agreed and approved by the EACCC.

 When the crisis is resolved, the EACCC is deactivated.

After the crisis

A debriefing EACCC session is held after the crisis to address the lessons learned and to cover any remaining actions.

The EACCC gathers, prepares and shares any relevant information with the entire aviation community, ensuring that consistent messages are issued.

To achieve this, the EACCC prepares factual assessments of the situation for communications purposes. Using a nominated communications focal point, the EACCC ensures that consistent information, based on the factual assessment of the situation made by the EACCC, is transmitted to EC/EASA/EUROCONTROL as Network Manager, the civil and military authorities of affected States and corresponding NSAs/ANSPs, airlines and airports.