Press release

Partners trial enhanced customer services with airlines

Several air navigation service providers, airlines and the EUROCONTROL Network Manager have teamed up to trial a unique customer service (the so-called “Customer Initiative”) which aims to address flight trajectory inefficiency, offer coordinated tactical directs or higher cruising levels, or arrange exceptional non-standard routeings and profiles in support of aircraft operators’ operations and fleet management.

The overarching objectives are to relieve pressure on airline operation control centres, focusing in particular on priority situations and critical flights, e.g. EU 261 incidences, airport curfews, crew hour limitations, rotation problems, delays with high financial impact, passenger and freight connections, or schedule disruptions and the associated network shockwave. The focus is on achieving high-value results, in particular by proposing the best possible flight planning options, which might not be detected by flight planning software, and by guaranteeing on-time arrival.

The trial will run from 15 September to 15 November 2021 and will cover the airspace of Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Ireland and the UK. Results are expected in December 2021.

The Customer Initiative is a combined effort, offering solutions which transcend regular constraints and alleviating network complexity. Developed during periods of low traffic due to the pandemic, this initiative is expected to generate tangible gains in terms of fuel consumption, lower emissions, savings in route charges and shorter flying times as soon as heavy traffic resumes.

The solution which supports the Customer Initiative – the MUAC ATM Portal – has been deployed in several countries in the core European airspace.

MUAC ATM Portal flightwatch
Electronic collaborative decision-making

Via the MUAC ATM Portal, partners can easily connect to the network in real time with an intuitive interface. The tool automatically detects critical impacts on flights and allows the operator to upgrade any flight to ‘Priority’ status. The ATM Portal enhances situational awareness and collaborative decision-making between airline operation control centres, ANSP flow management positions and the Network Manager, and ensures effective cross-border coordination.

The customer Initiative aims to respond dynamically to customer requirements by focusing on the most penalised flights, generating immediate value for aircraft operators. It uses data analytics in a co-creational setting to develop a new standard for improved operations in order to meet the needs of aircraft operators.

Note for aircraft operators

Aircraft operators who wish to take part in the Customer Initiative but do not yet have access to the MUAC ATM Portal can follow the instructions available on our dedicated page. Aircraft operators who wish to receive flight planning advice without requesting access to the MUAC ATM Portal can do so by sending the request via the button below.

For further information:

Mireille Roman
Head of Stakeholder Relations at MUAC
[email protected]
Phone: +31 43 366 1352

2021 Customer initiative

Note to editors

Operated by EUROCONTROL on behalf of four States, EUROCONTROL’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) provides civil and military cross-border air traffic control in the upper airspace of Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and north-west Germany (from 7.5 km or 24,500 feet). Some 1.9 million flights (pre-COVID-19 figures) pass through MUAC’s area of responsibility each year, making it the third busiest air traffic control facility in Europe in terms of traffic volume. During the summer, peak days see over 5,700 flights. MUAC’s international area of responsibility is a perfect example of the simplification and harmonisation of airspace in Europe and is fully in line with the objectives of the Single European Sky.

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