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By Heathrow
It’s not easy running Europe’s busiest airport at 98% capacity, but Heathrow’s new Airport Operations Centre (APOC) sits right at the heart of it.

Officially opened in 2014 – in addition to other operations centres across the airport – APOC became a new monitoring and control centre for the entire airport operation with a focus on managing and improving every step of passengers’ journey through Heathrow.

Improving operational performance

Heathrow’s ambition is to continue to reduce delay across the passenger’s end to end journey through the airport.

To achieve this, APOC is able to see the complete Heathrow picture, offering the right information to the right people at the right time, enabling more proactive and effective decision making and making better use of capacity.

For passengers, spending less time ‘holding’ in an aircraft or flowing more smoothly through terminals delivers a better experience of Heathrow.

Passengers are able to take better advantage of the services and facilities on offer at the airport, and are better informed of any changes to their planned journey.

Managing airport operations collaboratively

In being able to see the complete Heathrow picture, APOC seeks to avert problems before they happen, and manages airport performance in a collaborative way.

Multiple stakeholders sit in APOC, including airlines, NATS, Border Force, the Metropolitan Police and the Highways Agency ensuring that APOC produces results that are best for the airport as a whole.

Controlling the flow

An airport that reacts to events cannot be efficient. Each time something unexpected happens, there is a rush to recover and catch up. APOC takes a different approach by continually course correcting and looking ahead.

Because APOC is one of the sources across the airport of the most up-to-date information, it will also be a home to Heathrow’s first-line response team which deals with issues requiring an immediate response, such as emergency calls, faults, fire and security systems activations.

Their actions feed straight back into APOC which keeps operational teams and the whole airport in the loop if the call-out is likely to affect operations.