Airspace Q4 2018: Efficiency and cost savings in area control services

17 December 2018

On 1 June 2018, in Finland, all area control-related services were transferred from Tampere to the Helsinki Airport air traffic control centre. The move resulted in significant operational efficiency gains and cost savings. 

ANS Finland’s CEO Raine Luojus estimates that €2–3 million was saved by streamlining the operations.

In addition to personnel savings, there are savings in facility costs. In Tampere, there was 5,000 square metres of office space, with an annual maintenance cost of €500,000. When the services were moved to Helsinki, only 150 square metres of office space was needed thanks to new technologies and better design. All overlaps and data transfer costs were eliminated, Luojus says.

He adds that the area control services of a small country like Finland can easily be provided in a single location. If something were to happen, a natural disaster or a cyberattack, plans call for a speedy move to ANS Finland’s temporary underground premises. They have full operational availability and are used regularly for practice sessions.

Following the move, Luojus is pleased with the improved atmosphere at work. “We’re clearly heading towards a more open and more communicative culture,” he says. “Now that we work in single premises, everything we do is about communicating openly and listening to others.”

Operational streamlining will also help ANS Finland to meet ambitious EU targets. The aim is to improve cost efficiency for en route services 24% by 2024 compared with 2017.  A joint crossover service solution with EANS Estonia will most probably be operational in 2021. It means that one country’s authority may provide services to the other one in quiet times. A similar cooperation may be developed with Western neighbours as well, Luojus envisages.

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