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First NDOP/NDTECH Workshop

Last week, ERA, alongside industry stakeholders, participated in the first Network Directors of Operations (NDOP) and Network Directors of Technology (NDTECH) two-day joint workshop, the beginning of a three-month process that will finalise and agree the priorities of the Operational Excellence programme, in support of building a common NDOP/NDTECH strategic work package. Nearly 180 stakeholders participated.

In late 2019, EUROCONTROL launched the Operational Excellence programme, in co-operation with operational stakeholders (airspace users, airports, ANSPs, military and flight plan service providers) aimed at improving European network performance. The goal being to identify and agree the operational and technical evolutions required to improve European Network Performance, and to ensure their successful implementation.

The crisis affecting European aviation brought about by COVID-19 has resulted in a rescoping of the project, and last week NDOP and NDTECH representatives came together to review and give their inputs to various improvements in the 18 identified workstreams (including procedures, resources, ATM throughput, CNS, interoperability and so on) across five different ‘clusters’, namely; Operational, Capacity, Network, Airport and Infrastructure. Through a ‘scoring’ process, each stakeholder evaluated the scalability, environmental and Network benefit as well as the expected cost of implementation.

Opened by the EUROCONTROL Director General, Eamonn Brennan, who made a keynote speech similar to that made to the European Parliament TRAN Committee the previous day in which highlighted the upcoming ‘very difficult’ winter as well as essential need for heightened co-operation and collaboration in these exceptional times.

Two more workshops will be held in October with final approval of the priorities being made at the 29th Meeting of the Network Management Board in mid-November.