ENAIRE and COPAC make progress in improving operational safety and sustainability through flight observations
As part of the strategic initiative of ENAIRE‘s 2025 Flight Plan, the Air Operations Safety and Efficiency Observatory, with support from ENAIRE and the Official Association of Commercial Aviation Pilots (COPAC), collected over 1,800 direct observations from pilots and controllers, which will be analysed to help improve aviation safety and efficiency in Spanish airspace. More than 1,000 of these observations were registered in 2021, a 60% increase over the previous year, significantly boosting the information available to identify inefficiencies and improve operational practices.
Thanks to the information collected from flights that land at and/or take off from the five large Spanish airports – Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat, Palma de Mallorca, Málaga Costa del Sol and Gran Canaria – the Observatory identified various areas for operational improvement throughout 2021. It also tracked operational indicators such as punctuality, operating times and aircraft climb/descent profiles.
Another of the Observatory’s advances in 2021 was the development, together with the Advanced Technical School for Computer Systems Engineering and the Advanced Technical School of Aeronautical and Space Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), of a tool based on flight data (ADS-B) for monitoring environmental sustainability at airports, which can be used to analyse fuel consumption, the emission of polluting gases, and other environmental aspects. The plan is to continue expanding the study of the data provided by this tool in 2022 in order to improve operational efficiency.
The Observatory, which was created in 2019, currently has 41 pilots from various air operators, and 31 ENAIRE air traffic controllers. In 2022, more pilot-observers are planned to be added to increase the amount of data that is collected and its subsequent analysis by the monitoring committees.
This initiative by Enaire and COPAC is also helping to improve pilots’ and controllers’ mutual knowledge of operations and to foster collaboration in aviation as the level of air traffic continues to recover.