Heathrow opens SESAR Airport Operation Centre
An Airport Operations Centre (APOC), based largely on the SESAR developments, recently opened its doors for business at Heathrow Airport.
The Heathrow facility supports frontline operational teams and oversees the Airport Operations Plan (AOP), allowing for an improved management decision making process for servicing and controlling airport flight movements. Both the APOC and AOP at Heathrow are very much based on development activities performed within the SESAR Programme for Research and Innovation (OFA05.01.01), which aim to bring together the operational planning, monitoring and oversight of an airport in one place.
“The opening of the APOC is a major milestone for Heathrow, bringing to life many months of planning and hard work. It is also recognition of quality of solutions that the SESAR Programme is delivering in response to the airport operational needs,” said Normand Boivin, Chief Operating Officer. “For the first time we have many of our airport partners in the same room, together making every journey better.”
“We are delighted to see work that started in SESAR come to fruition with the opening of the APOC, which provides Heathrow Airport with the means to optimise its operations,” said Florian Guillermet, Executive Director of the SESAR Joint Undertaking. “We hope that the example of Heathrow will prompt further uptake of SESAR concepts and solutions by other airport actors in Europe.”
The APOC will see the complete Heathrow picture, seeking to avert problems before they happen, and managing airport performance in a collaborative way. With multiple stakeholders contributing to the decision-making process, APOC produces results that are best for the airport as a whole. Instead of islands of potentially conflicting decision-making, there’s one over-arching process that balances the business priorities and strategies of all airport stakeholders. APOC keeps the airport flowing by matching resources and facilities to changes in demand or schedule. It does the job in real time, and the process is completely transparent.
A centre piece of APOC is two huge video walls made up of 60 high definition screens which monitor the entire airport including security queues, access roads, baggage halls, and the airfield itself.