Sunday, August 21, 2011

Who is afraid of EC Regulation 691/2010?

The EUROCONTROL Performance Review Commission (PRC) has been analyzing the performance of the European Air Traffic Management System since 1998. Initially, the focus was on en-route ATM performance. Some indicators from this framework were selected in 2010 for regular monitoring of operational airport ANS operational performance. Three of the flight efficiency indicators have been adopted as airport capacity indicators for Reference Period 1 (2012-2014) in the SES II performance scheme:
  • Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) Arrival Delay
  • Taxi-Out Additional Time
  • Arrival Sequencing and Metering Area (ASMA) Additional Time
So this is all about ANS and EUROCONTROL.Why, despite delivering data to EUROCONTROL, should an Airport Operator bother about it? Well, it may fall back on them.

Let us take the Taxi-Out Additional Time as an example. The indicator measures the delta between the Actual Off-Block Time (AOBT) and the Actual Take-Off Time (ATOT). Now if you us airline data, they may report very long taxi times. Longer times than the Airport Operator. Why? Firstly, they may measure the AOBT differently because they use a different source than the airport, for instance ACARS. Secondly, since stations are evaluated against outbound delays, they will try to 'optimize' the AOBT to remain within the 15 minutes IATA threshold and report accordingly to their headquarters. You know what I mean.

Now here comes the problem. Whoever will get the blame (and potentially penalties) about long taxi times will have to demonstrate that it was not them causing it. As an Airport Operator, would you like to engage with the parties about this sort of questions when the performance regime has been implemented and the results have been published? Maybe the Airport Operator will already want to engage in the process to make sure that  questions about data quality, measuring standards, including reasons and impact of delays, is being addressed now.

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