On 12/03/2019, Brussels Airport, as leader of the iAOP (initial Airport Operations Plan) project and on behalf of the other participants in this initiative, was presented with the Single European Sky (SES) Award in the Corporation category at the World ATM Congress in Madrid. The AOP sets out to further optimise the planning of airport processes on the basis of real-time data, ultimately enhancing the passenger experience, while maintaining operational safety.
The Airport Operations Plan (AOP) devised by Brussels Airport aims to extensively streamline all the processes within the airport, from check-in to boarding. By optimising and coordinating the Passenger, Baggage, Aircraft and Accessibility flows, the journey to the airport as well as the various stages at the airport become much smoother for passengers. Thanks to innovative technologies combining historical and real time data, Brussels Airport can anticipate future issues which may cause inconvenience to its passengers, resulting in a more pleasant experience for them in a safe and secure environment. For example, instead of taking action once long queues have formed at passenger screening or passport control, it is now possible to predict this situation in advance and prevent it from occurring. More accurate data will be shared with Eurocontrol and other European airports, optimising the use of European airspace.
“With the Airport Operations Plan, the entire passenger experience, from their journey to the airport to their boarding the plane, will be more fluid thanks to the use of a large amount of data collected and analysed in real time. The AOP enables us to anticipate any difficult situations and to remedy them quickly so as to minimise the impact on passengers,” explains Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company. “Brussels Airport is playing a leading role in this European project and has become an international reference in this field.“
Brussels Airport launched the Airport Operations Plan (AOP) project at the end of 2017. In 2018, various planning methods were developed, but the most visible step of this project was the launch of the transfer matrix in a completely new tool, allowing to follow transferring passengers between two flights. Thanks to this tool, Brussels Airport has a clear picture of their walking time and waiting times, which means that they can calculate whether the passenger will be able to make it to their connecting flight. If this is not the case, adjustments can be made so that passengers always get to their plane on time. A new milestone for Brussels Airport’s Airport Operations Centre on its journey to the digital era!
In 2019 and 2020, many more modules and planning methods will be added to better manage all airport processes.
The Airport Operations Plan (AOP) is a concept that has been defined by SESAR Joint Undertaking, a European Commission working group that is responsible for optimising European airspace. Subsidies are granted in order to support airports and air navigation service providers (ANSP) in the implementation of initiatives to improve European air navigation. In 2017, Brussels Airport Company partnered with 11 other airports and 2 ANSPs to develop an AOP at each airport in a harmonised way. The participants are Aéroports de la Côte d‘Azur, Aéroports de Paris, Aeroporti di Roma S.p.A., Brussels Airport Company NV /SA, Copenhagen Airport A/S, DAA plc (Dublin Airport), ENAV S.p.A, Flughafen München GmbH, Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, Manchester Airport PLC, Società per Azioni Esercizi Aeroportuali – SEA (Milan Airports), Skeyes, STAL – London Stansted Limited, Swedavia AB.