Measuring ANS performance in India

Measuring air navigation services (ANS) performance has absorbed much attention in the industry. In 2009, ICAO required member states to adopt a performance-based approach to ANS. This followed some years of performance review among EUROCONTROL members led by the Performance Review Commission. CANSO, the ANSPs trade association, also led a project to pool and compare performance statistics in its Global Benchmarking Reports.
While India contributed towards the CANSO work, Airports Authority of India (AAI) wanted to go a step further. With the impending establishment of an ANSP independent of airport operation, AAI engaged Helios through the EU-India Civil Aviation Cooperation Project to help define and implement a consistent framework for measuring ANS performance.

AAI is one of the worlds largest ANSPs. Its airspace, the ninth largest in the world, borders 14 other nations. Its traffic is the third largest of those reporting statistics to CANSO. It employs around 2,300 controllers, more than any reporting ANSP except the FAA. There are 13 Area Control Centres, and ANS are provided at 89 airports. Indias largest airport, Mumbai, serves more than 250,000 flights a year; in Europe it would be the eleventh largest.

Helios is helping AAI develop a performance framework similar to that used in Europe, but extended to include quantitative indicators in all the key performance areas: safety, cost-effectiveness, capacity and delay, and flight efficiency and environment. We also focused on measuring the various components of delay at Indias major airports. A particular challenge was dealing with a decentralised information management system where each operating unit sets its own policies for collecting data.

A pilot report for financial year 2010/11 is now under review by AAI, and we shall shortly be presenting recommendations for adapting the information systems and processes to routinely monitor all aspects of performance.

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John Raftery


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