Cologne Bonn Airport

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A new control cockpit for airport procedures


Cologne Bonn Airport is to receive a new, ultra-modern control centre on floor 4 of Terminal 1. In the future, the Airport Operation Control Center (AOCC) will centrally plan, control and monitor all processes relating to flight management, passengers and cargo, from arrival at to departure from the airport.

To this end, decision-makers from various departments across the airport are on site around the clock (including staff from traffic management, the traffic control centre, baggage handling, ground handling). Partners and service providers responsible for or involved in processes (incl. the federal police, security service providers, handling companies and cargo operators) will also be represented in the future in the new AOCC. This means exchange and collaboration will be even closer than before.

“In the future, the AOCC will join up all the different threads. It will lift real-time process control to a new level, making an essential contribution in doing so to the development of the airport,” says Thilo Schmid, President and CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH. “Processes at the airport are multi-layered and highly complex. The new, centralised control cockpit allows direct communication between internal and external partners, flexible planning and rapid, process-oriented decision-making, even during periods of disruption to normal operations caused, for example, by bad weather.” The goals of the AOCC also include achieving more efficient processes and stability in operations, guaranteeing the optimal use of resources and capacities and increasing punctuality and customer satisfaction.   

The Airport Operation Control Center, located centrally in Terminal 1 with a view encompassing the apron, cargo area, runway and more, is around 500 square metres in size. The 300-square-metre control room has 24 work stations for internal and external staff and a 15-metre-wide video wall composed of 20 screens. There, all the information relevant to airport operations (e.g. weather, special airport apps, news if needed) is shown. There is also a lounge, offices, meeting spaces and technical rooms.

Assuming overall leadership of the AOCC is Dr. Patrick Gontar, moving from his position as Head of the Safety Intelligence Department at Deutsche Flugsicherung.

At the start of October, training of the first new employees started and processes began to be set up. The first control tests are planned to take place from December. Full operation is likely to begin – initially in parallel with ordinary processes – in February.


The new Airport Operation Control Center (AOCC) at Cologne Bonn Airport.


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