ACI-NA, Other Industry Associations Assess Data & Info Needs During Irregular Operations Events

On March 21, ACI-NA, AAAE, Airlines for America (A4A), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Regional Airlines Association (RAA), the National Air Transportation Association’s Airline Services Council, and the FAA convened a day-long workshop to discuss how the industry can improve the ways and types of data that are shared during irregular operations (IROPS) and diversion events.  The workshop grew out of discussions and industry forums associated with the October 29, 2011, winter storm that affected the Northeast U.S. and resulted in significant diversions and extended tarmac delays.

Participants in the workshop included representatives from both large and small airports, several airlines, and FAA’s Air Traffic Organization and Office of Airports.  Representatives from the Transportation Security Administration and Customs & Border Protection also attended.

Participants discussed a variety of mechanisms for improving the industry’s situational awareness during IROPS events.  These included proposed “airport information websites”; commercial flight tracking and status systems; and electronic notification systems.  There was also considerable discussion about the advantages of large hub airports taking a leadership role with in their regions in notifying and updating smaller supporting airports about evolving diversion events.

As a follow-up to the workshop, ACI-NA will be contacting our member airports to obtain “24/7” emergency contact information for a national database that can be made available to the airlines and the FAA.  IATA and A4A have committed to developing similar contact information for the airlines.  ACI-NA will also be working with the FAA Air Traffic Organization to assess whether having an airport representative at the FAA’s Air Traffic System Command Center would improve the way in which IROPS events are handled.

Please contact Chris Oswald (coswald@aci-na.org) if you have questions about the workshop.