Supported by a secure web application, Airport Corner integrates participating airports into various network processes. By filling NM in as far in advance as possible on unplanned event information such as bad weather, industrial action and unscheduled maintenance, situational awareness is improved exponentially, notes Sofia Kihlgren, EUROCONTROL's NM Operations Centre (NMOC) Operations Manager, leading to “better coordination and more informed collaborative decision-making”.
114 airports covering more than 60% of all departures in Europe use Airport Corner to report information and better integrate into various NM processes, from strategic planning to post-operational assessment, as set out in the Network Strategic Plan and required by the Network Operations Plan. And NMOC is keen to get more airports on board, as Kihlgren emphasises: “the more airports use it, the better it becomes for the EUROCONTROL NM in terms of network awareness and improved network performance.”
Strategic information includes current and forecast capacities, traffic forecasts, planned local events which might have an impact on the network, environmental management, standard and temporary diversion capabilities, PBN implementation plans, Terminal Manoeuvring Area (TMA)/approach; Continuous Descent and Climb Operations (CDO/CCO), Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) implementation, and more.
Pre-tactical information covers events such as adverse weather, industrial action or unplanned maintenance, and is used by NM to prepare its day-1 pre-tactical plan.
Another important part of the Airport Corner is its diversion capabilities process, which is vital at times of extremely bad weather or crisis situations. The process was used in VOLCEX18 and 19, the Volcanic Ash Exercises organised by ICAO and EUROCONTROL, and can assist the NM by providing timely information on airport stand availability for diversions. As Kihlgren notes, “in a diversion scenario, every free stand counts”, which is why NM aims at bringing all airports in the core network area into Airport Corner.
Other useful features for airports include an emergency interface giving them another channel through which they can give contextual information about any adverse situation occurring on their platforms; the ability to benefit from post-operations briefings to see where they can improve performance; and an information service that pushes real-time notifications.