Dubai: The fully functional Airport Operations Control Centre (AOCC) of the world’s busiest airport was officially inaugurated by Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and CEO and Chairman of the Emirates Group, on Wednesday.
As Damian Elacott, Vice-President of the AOCC who took Sheikh Ahmed, who along with Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, took Sheikh Ahmed on a tour of the facility said the 75,000 sq ft centre, spread over three floors in a dedicated building off Al Ittihad Road, receives real-time data feeds from 50 systems across Dubai Airports, covering the airfield, aircraft stands, baggage carousals, terminals, touch points, queueing, flight information display systems and security.
The 24/7 control room accommodates not just the airport staff, but also service partners from DA, Emirates, dnata, Dubai Police, RTA, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Dubai Customs, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai, among others.
The control room, which has 120 staff working in 96 stations with 123 video wall screens round the clock, is capable of processing seven billion data points every day.
Central to the AOCC is realtimeDXB, a cloud-powered platform that monitors airport operations in real-time. Capable of visualising traffic flows, as well as compiling data generated by more than 50 operational systems, the platform allows the airport operator to better manage day-to-day operations and deliver a more refined experience for passengers passing through the airport’s terminals.
Amongst its many features, the platform provide operations teams access to airport data in real-time, which in turn keeps them up to date on current scenarios and informed on developing situations occurring at any point across the airport environment.
Speaking to Gulf News after the tour, Ellacott said the biggest advantage of having the new AOCC is that Dubai Airports’ partners have co-located to the facility. “With more and more critical partners sitting in the same room, we are able to observe the same operations, share the same information that enable us to make critical real-time decisions.”
Difference between ATC and AOCC
Air Traffic Control (ATC) coordinates the movement of aircraft arriving or departing from Dubai Airports. It works with the Area Control Centres to manage flights inbound to UAE air space from hundreds of miles away, sequencing them into different airports within the country.
Airports Operations Control Centre (AOCC), on the other hand, works closely with Dubai Air Navigation Services, GDRFA, Dubai Police, RTA, dnata and other partners to manage airside operations, where the aircraft can park, how they turn around, how passengers and baggage move, make sure they are connected – and manage infrastructure, networks and systems to ensure all functions are in sync.
7 separate gates for coronavirus screening at DXB
Damian Elacott, Vice-President of the newly opened Airport Operations Control Centre (AOCC) told Gulf News on Wednesday that there are separate gates for passengers flying in from certain countries at DXB.
He said, “Currently, there are seven gates (allocated to such passengers). We’ve got our responsibility to apply certain directives issued by the GCCAA, federal authorities and Dubai Government authorities in terms of passnger flights arriving from certain destinations. We’ve got to make sure we have facilities in place to thermally screen passengers arriving from certain destinations as well as carry out a nasal swabbing process.”
He said the situation is being monitored closely and as decisions are made, the number of flights whose passengers have to be screened may change, with allowances in the system becoming necessary to cater to them.
AOCC fact sheet
- Real-time data feeds from 50 systems across the airport (airfield, aircraft stands, baggage, terminals, touch points, queueing, flight information display system, security etc.)
- Processes 7 billion data points every day
- 3 floors, 75,000 square foot facility
- 96 seats/stations
- 123 video wall screens
- 120 plus staff during office hours
- Fully resilient mission critical facility across all services (power and network)