Lufthansa Systems Blog

The Pilot Common Project: your benefit, your role, your actions.


Oct 11, 2019

The PCP (i.e.EU Regulation 716/2014) is not just about providers and adhering to regulations. It is about making airlines benefit from SESAR

The perception that the PCP is just relevant for service and systems providers is a misjudgment. A second misjudgment is that it is about following “just another” EU regulation. Rather, it is about generating opportunities for the airline business resulting in substantial cost savings, reduction of carbon footprint, less delays and better management of operational disruptions. Its full benefit can only be disclosed if airlines embrace the PCP and take it into their daily business. Airlines have to develop their capabilities and manage the transformation projects to materialize all benefits. Providers cannot do it on their behalf.  

We concluded our last post by introducing a misunderstanding: when it comes to the airline ground domain, many think the PCP (remember? EU Regulation 716/2014) and its deadlines are mainly relevant for Ops Control system providers. Why is this a misjudgment? Let’s have a look at just two definitions taken from the PCP:

  1. To operate an ATM functionality: the ATM functionality is put in service and it is fully used in daily operations.
  2. Deployment target date: the date by which the deployment of the ATM functionality in question is to be completed and fully used operationally.

By reiterating “fully used in daily operations” and “fully used operationally” the European Commission ultimately points out that, once put in service, the PCP’s ATM functionalities will only benefit the European air transportation system (i.e. meet the “union-wide performance targets” in the words of the PCP itself) if actually translated into stakeholders' everyday business. Adoption is therefore crucial. Is it crucial for airlines as well? We believe it is! Read on to understand our rationale and tell us what you think...

1. Your actions, your benefit

Airlines generate the air traffic and hold a decision-making responsibility on related trajectories. Since most of PCP’s ATM functionalities involve making decisions on the trajectories, better to gear up for it! Look at this: participating in establishing a pre-departure sequence from an airport – as demanded by the PCP functionality Airport Integration and Throughput – involves trajectory assessment. Why? This is often unnoticed but the airlines – in fact – have to review the trajectories in light of the changing operational and commercial aspects of the involved operations to actually play their part in the game. Properly done, it can result in having the most valued flights protected from delays. Otherwise, well…just queue up!

No one better than the airlines knows what they themselves want to achieve by flying a specific trajectory (the business goals) and no one else is aware of all related operational (and – don’t forget – commercial) decision boundaries. Thus, isn’t it quite important to speak out? And avoid being hit by decisions taken by others who cannot have the same visibility as you on your business? In the end, it’s the airline that bears the financial risks resulting from operational decisions. That is exactly why adoption is crucial. There is actually another convincing argument: aligning with the evolving ATM landscape to act proactively and reap the benefit that such a new decision-making environment is soon disclosing. A valid example is in the text box below. However, get in touch for knowing more!


2. Your role, i.e. multiply the value!

The PCP does not mention the airlines by that term. They are referred to as airspace users and operational stakeholders. As such, they are brought into play several times throughout the Commission’s text. Which tells something interesting: there is a part for them to play under the terms of EU Regulation 716/2014. Why? Essentially, to achieve the union-wide performance targets envisaged by the common project itself! Indeed, by calling the airspace users into question the Commission acknowledges that system benefits can only be realized by having the airlines embracing the new ATM functionalities. As such, the PCP is not just “yet another” regulation: in fact, the more stakeholders embrace it, the better the ATM functionalities will work, the more benefit they will deliver to the advantage of the stakeholders themselves. Your advantage starts with you adopting the functionalities. Your action – combined with the actions of the others – multiplies the value.

All right, but… what does adoption actually mean?

It is essentially about organizational changes. Adoption means changing the way you do your job. Why? To act consistently with the PCP’s ATM functionalities and get a return. In short, it means integrating new use cases into the daily business and adapting the existing ones for a specific end goal: routinely leveraging the information made available by the PCP functionalities to improve the operational performance. An exercise of requirements setting on several dimensions: processes and procedures, job roles and skills, organizational structures and types and uses of technology. Is it actually something providers can do for you?

So, let’s go back to the beginning. Yes, it is actually a misjudgment. Ultimately, it is the airlines’ ability to set the requirements and manage the transformation that will determine how much they can get out of the PCP.

The road to readiness – Our next blog post will discuss how to get ready!

Tags: airline consultingFindtherightpartnerairline efficiencyAirline OperationsSESARleveragePCPregulationLufthansa Systems Blog
Davide Bardelli
Director Consultant
Author-page, 6 posts
Lufthansa Systems Blog