The Central Flow Management Unit (CFMU) within EUROCONTROL plays a critical role in planning for and coordinating the response to contingency when the loss of service in one member state can have knock-on effects across the air traffic management (ATM) network.
The objective of CFMU in contingency planning is to increase network resilience to failures in any ANSP.
The CFMU plays a key role in helping air navigation service providers (ANSPs) prepare for contingency operations - for example, by planning alternate routings that enable network flows to be optimised. In order to do this, each ANSP unit should provide the CFMU with:
Default capacity figures for individual traffic volumes applicable for all contingency phases.
Their contingency airspace reconfiguration in order to enable correct flight plan distribution and relevant air traffic flow control management (ATFCM) measures during a contingency situation.
Lists of route availability applicable for contingency measures, including route structure and flight levels for which contingency flight level allocation scheme (cFLAS) eventually applies.
During a contingency, CFMU will assist ANSPs in providing awareness and communication to all affected ATM partners (including airlines), through its already established communication channels. The CFMU’s aim is to ensure the proper coordination of any ATFCM measures. In addition, CFMU will monitor and, if necessary, reduce the demand of the airlines in response to any capacity reduction across the ATM network in order contribute to safety in the area affected by the ANSP contingency. CFMU will also attempt to alleviate the impact on airlines through ATFCM solution such as re-routing aircraft around the affected area or perhaps calling for more capacity from other ANSPs.
During the recovery from the contingency event, CFMU will continue assist in providing awareness and communication to all affected ATM partners. The aim is to optimise the provision of air traffic services balancing capacity of the ATM network with the demand from the airlines in order to manage the increases in air traffic in a safe, orderly and expeditious way.