Operational excellence programme

Let’s make it happen!

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The EUROCONTROL Network Manager has launched in full partnership with the operational stakeholders the Operational excellence programme; a concrete step towards the improvement of the European network performance. The programme is one of the EUROCONTROL NM cornerstone initiatives and complements the Airspace re-configuration programme.

Partnership with operational stakeholders

Partnership with operational stakeholders are the key words for the Operational excellence programme. The clear goal is to identify operational and technical evolutions and to ensure their successful implementation in order to achieve harmonisation across the entire network, with a demonstrated benefit for European aviation. Air navigation service providers (ANSPs), airports, airspace users (AUs), computer flight plan service providers, and military authorities are in the driving seat of this project.

Note: Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/123 defines operational stakeholders as “the civil and military airspace users, civil and military air navigation service providers and airport operators which operate in the airspace referred to in Article 1(4)”.


The programme will be fully managed within the current Network Cooperative Decision Making working arrangements and will be part of the EUROCONTROL NM Work Programme.

The programme will:

  • report regularly to Network Management Board (NMB)
  • be managed by the Network Directors of Operations Group (NDOP), in close cooperation with Network Directors of Technology Group (NDTECH).


The activities will be organised around a number of agreed work-streams, each containing several specific operational and technical work-stream topics including but not limited to air traffic flow and capacity management (ATFCM), civil-military cooperation, airport operational matters, technical evolutions, etc. 

Each work-stream topic will be steered by an operational stakeholder who will act as a champion and will be supported by a work-stream topic leader from EUROCONTROL NM that will provide the needed technical and administrative support.


The Operational excellence programme will deliver a Harmonised Implementation Plan, maintained in an online repository, taking into account the local needs, agreed with the operational stakeholders and documented at network and local levels in the Network Operations Plan (NOP).

Helping the COVID-19 recovery

COVID-19 crisis underlined the urgent need for such initiative: the principles of the Operational excellence programme have already been applied in response to the pandemic.

Good practices are being shared among the operational stakeholders (e.g. rostering, training, licensing, Ops Room set-up, sanitary measures etc.) and States (e.g. relaxation of national restrictions), while confidentiality is respected.

This has confirmed once again that the partnership with operational stakeholders is key to the success of every initiative both in normal operation times as well as in times of crisis.