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118 S E C T I O N 9 This section of the Guidebook can be used by any size airport and by airports seeking to expand an existing ACC (rather than developing a new facility) and summarizes the optimal process and best practices. It can also be used as a checklist of critical ACC implementation steps. There is no one best approach. Each airport operator should determine what is needed for their particular initiative. By following all (or even some) of the guidance provided here, a successful initiative is more likely. (Note: the most critical recommendations are in bold face and numbered sequentially.) 9.1 Section 1, Introduction Section 1 defined an ACC as âa central physical location in an airport where one or multiple internal (and potentially external) organizations work together to develop a comprehensive picture of one, many, or all aspects of airport operations. The ACC gathers data from various sources using various methods and produces information to portray an accurate picture of airport conditions on which informed management decisions can be made. The ACC is an integral focal point for airport operation through normal conditions, irregular operations, and emergency situations.â Throughout the following recommendations, the information and best practices provided are intended to achieve a facility that strives to meet this definition. Some initial questions should be answered, beginning with âWhy is the airport management initiating an ACC project?â â¢ Why is this an important project for the airport at this particular time? â¢ Why does this airport need a communications center? â¢ Why should the airport operator invest the resources necessary to complete a successful airport project? After it has been determined that initiating an ACC project is justified, what the new facility would do should be addressed. Related to this are the following questions: â¢ What array of services is the facility expected to offer? â¢ What information does the airport operator believe is necessary for obtaining the situational awareness it is seeking? â¢ What are the potential constraints on developing an ACC? â¢ What are measurements for success in the ACC effort? Recommendations
Recommendations 119 Recommendation 1: Draft a preliminary ACC mission statement based on the perceived need and an early indication of the proposed functionality of the ACC. Once it is determined that the airport needs an ACC and there is a basic understanding of what it will be doing, identifying the human resources (i.e., who will make the plan a reality?) is critical. This question should be addressed in two different contexts: (1) in terms of the identity of stakeholders, individual or organizational, internal and external, who will play key roles in the operation of the communications center; and (2) the staff and/or contractors who will actually design, develop, and implement the ACC. Recommendation 2: Identify the individual who will lead the effort from start to finish as early in the process as possible. The next question to answer is when the project will be initiated and if external factors may guide a completion date. Having a clear desired projection for completion that is sufficiently flexible to allow full testing and training and to ensure that any support applications are fully ready to be integrated into the ACC based on the desired opening is essential. Recommendation 3: Develop an approach to schedule setting that looks at all airport activities, resource and funding constraints, and any external needs that may be influenc- ing schedule and establish an environment where a realistic schedule can be developed. The fifth question focuses on the physical location of the ACC or âWhereâ and an early indication, if possible, helps to frame much of the following discussion. The last question relates to the delivery method and addresses how the facility can be suc- cessfully developed, and implemented, based on the information developed from a Concept of Operations. Recommendation 4: Commit to developing the ACC through a formal process, instead of relying on ad hoc committees and the efforts of individual airport personnel. 9.2 Section 2, Components of an ACC Because an ACC can have various configurations, consider a wide range of factors. Specific recommendations regarding areas of exploration as an airport determines what its ACC will be when completed follow. The first recommendation requires the establishment of a policy-driven environment. A robust, comprehensive, documented set of policies is essential for every ACC, no matter the size. One of the most important potential benefits of an ACC is that an airport will produce the same (or similar) desired outcome each time it encounters a particular condition or stimulus. Recommendation 5: Commit to a philosophy that the ACC will adopt a policy-driven approach to management and will establish a formal policy document that is highly struc- tured in its development, format, and content. Deciding whether or not the ACC will also function as a call center is important because that decision affects organization, physical layout, technology, and a host of other decisions. Recommendation 6: Make a preliminary decision on whether or not the ACC will have a call center function for any or all of the following functions: public inquiries, tenant issues, maintenance requests, and/or public safety.
120 Guidance for Planning, Design, and Operations of Airport Communications Centers Throughout this guidance, a standard approach to implementing the technology for the ACC is discussed. An ACC should be approached from a technology perspective using common technology acquisition methods. Recommendation 7: Commit to (1) understanding the technology needs of the ACC as early as possible in the ACC planning stage and (2) using traditional technology approaches, espe- cially in the creation of a functional requirements document (FRD) to ensure that the technol- ogy being selected meets the needs of the users and stakeholders and the objectives of the ACC. Perhaps the most potentially difficult aspect of developing a new ACC is ensuring that the per- sonnel who will be in the ACC are fully aware of the mission, goals, and objectives of the ACC. The ACCâs mission, goals, and objectives need to be developed, approved by airport manage- ment, and clearly stated in a documented format available to all personnel. Also there needs to be an understanding of how formerly separate organizations will be expected to work together. Recommendation 8: Do not understate the importance of staff input into the ACC ini- tiative, and commit to a highly interactive approach for communication and training throughout the process and into operations. When considering developing an ACC, the airport operator needs to consider three areas of potential communication channels: (1) the internal airport organization; (2) other airport stake- holders (e.g., airlines, tenants, concessionaires, vendors, ground transportation organizations, ground services, and catering); and (3) entities external to the airport, including the immediate community; the airport board; and federal, state, and local agencies (particularly those that have direct oversight or input into airport operations). Recommendation 9: Draft a preliminary pictorial representation of the potential com- munication interactions between the ACC and the airport organization, the airportâs direct customers, the public (including the surrounding community and the media), external gov- ernment agencies, and the airport governing body because this will help to inform numerous future decisions. Depending on the size and scope of an airportâs ACC, it may have many elements that are also important components in the NIMS Incident Command System (ICS). In fact, the FEMA definition for ICS as a âstandardized approach to the command, control, and coordination of emergency response providing a common hierarchy within which responders from multiple agencies can be effectiveâ is remarkably similar to a large-scale ACCâs mission statement. As such, it is beneficial for an airport operator to consider if or when the ACC may be made avail- able during emergencies or âevents,â as defined by the ICS. The most compelling connection between an ACC and ICS may be the technology included in the ACC. In both cases, converged communications are essential for successful execution of the operation. ICS requires that an integrated voice and data communications system, including equipment, systems, and protocols, be established prior to an incidentâexactly what is imple- mented when establishing an ACC. Using an already established technology platform for both the ACC and ICS could benefit the airport operator in terms of consistency, cost, uniformity, and readiness to use in the event of an incident. Recommendation 10: Decide if the ACC will also function as an EOC. Because an ACC is the most important node in the airportâs communication structure, considering how it will carry out that role affects both organization and facility layout. Recommendation 11: Determine the feasibility of having airport media relations work directly from the ACC or, if not, how they will carry out their role in the event of an incident of importance to the public.
Recommendations 121 Recommendation 12: Develop a Data Management Plan to have a full understanding of the data flowing in and out of the ACC. The amount of data and resulting information flowing into the ACC from different systems poses a challenge to any operation for proper absorption and use in decision-making. Ensuring that the data is accurate, timely, and complete is critical in ensuring that ACC personnel are operating with correct information. 9.3 Section 3, Project Planning To provide a controlled environment for the new or improved ACC, create a formal project team who will be responsible for all aspects of the ACC design, CONOPS creation, construction (where necessary), installation and/or integration of new systems and applications, and espe- cially for completing the project on time and within the allocated budget. Recommendation 13: Commit to a formal project management approach to implementation. In project management, a project charter (also called a project definition or project statement) is a statement of the scope, objectives, and participants in a project. It provides a preliminary outline of roles and responsibilities, outlines the project objectives, identifies the main stake- holders, defines the authority of the project manager, and serves as a reference of authority for the future of the project. Recommendation 14: Develop a project charter. A project charter (which is the first critical document and reflects airport managementâs for- mal decision to create or expand an ACC) lists the objectives, the key individuals responsible for the initiative, and some of the basic resources, constraints, goals, and objectives. Recommendation 15: Identify the project sponsor. Irrespective of the size of the airport or the projected size of the ACC, a project management plan (including a project schedule and budget) is important to create and maintain in order to maintain a disciplined project approach. Recommendation 16: Develop a formal project management plan which is submitted to and approved by airport management, including the project sponsor. Addressing timing is critical in planning a successful ACC. Development of an ACC may be contingent on other airport projects or it may be a standalone project. It is essential to have a clear desired projection for completion that is sufficiently flexible to allow full testing and training and to ensure that any support applications are fully ready to be integrated into the ACC based on the desired opening. The most likely factor in an unsuccessful project is an over-optimistic view that everything will go perfectly and the schedule is developed based on that unlikely occurrence. Recommendation 17: Using the initial general parameters for project start and completion considered in Recommendation 3, develop a realistic schedule with as little influence from outside pressure as possible, focusing on available resources and funding, internal processes such as procurement and board approval, where necessary, and other factors that influence project delivery. An ACC project is likely to draw project team members from throughout the airport so as to take advantage of the combined skill and expertise of the airport staff. The project team is essential to a successful project.
122 Guidance for Planning, Design, and Operations of Airport Communications Centers Recommendation 18: Select project team members who have experience and are commit- ted to delivering a successful project. These team members are likely doing double duty to participate, so focus on staff members who understand how to prioritize their work efforts with only minimal or no management oversight. Committing the necessary resources for the entire ACC project is important. An ACC can be an expensive undertaking and providing a rough order of magnitude of the necessary resources up front helps to frame the final requirements for the ACC. This includes funding for project management, personnel, integration of existing and planned infrastructure, architectural com- ponents, coordination of planning and design, and other locally unique activities and assets to be accommodated for the project to move forward. Recommendation 19: Develop a rough order of magnitude (ROM) budget for the ACC initiative, with ROM being defined in the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowl- edge (PMBOKÂ® Guide), as from -25% to +75% of final cost. Developing a project risk approach is essential in every ACC implementation. Even for the smallest project, a realistic look at obstacles to progress is essential. A typical project-oriented risk structure may be used which identifies potential threats to proper project completion, impact level, likelihood, and mitigation steps. Recommendation 20: Perform a formal project risk assessment. 9.4 Section 4, Concept of Operations (CONOPS) One of the documents most needed for a successful ACC initiative is a Concept of Oper- ations outlining the characteristics of a proposed organization, function, or system from the viewpoint of the stakeholders who will use that organization, function, or system. The CONOPS is used to communicate the quantitative and qualitative characteristics to all stakeholders, especially between management and staff. Initially, the CONOPS is cre- ated to express the needs and goals of the stakeholders to the project team. Subsequently, the developers create or update the CONOPS to communicate the early design possibilities to the users for review and approval. In most successful projects, the CONOPS is updated throughout the development cycle and, ultimately, becomes part of the operations and sup- port documentation. Recommendation 21: Develop a CONOPS for the ACC. The first step in initiating the CONOPS process is for airport management to select the team of airport personnel who will specifically be responsible for CONOPS development. The CONOPS Team may be a subset of the Project Management team or actually be the project management team. This is usually decided based on the breadth and scope of the proposed ACC, whether or not construction is involved, and the number of new systems and applications being considered for the proposed ACC. Recommendation 22: Choose the best subject matter experts for developing the CONOPS. Individuals should not only understand airport processes and procedures, but also reflect the wants and objectives of airport management. This Guidebook outlines one method for completing the CONOPS, the resources needed, and a recommended format. Recommendation 23: Choose a format for the CONOPS before you begin developing the document and stay with it through implementation and then to operations.
Recommendations 123 Stakeholder engagement is essential in developing facilities and systems in airports. Unless airport management and staff are fully engaged, it will be difficult to develop operational require- ments, which is the goal of a CONOPS. Recommendation 24: Engage stakeholders to the greatest extent possible during CONOPS development. Situational Awareness is the perception of events and activities in real or near-real time as seen by an individual or group and their understanding of how those events and activities may be related. More simply stated, situational awareness is knowing what is going on from moment to moment so the ACC operator can react, if and when required. If the airport is going to use the ACC as a center for situational awareness, it is important to determine this early in the project. Recommendation 25: The airport operator must decide on a common understanding of situational awareness and, the most important aspects of situational awareness and agree on a commitment to collecting the necessary data for situational awareness. To provide a structured approach to situational awareness, the airport operator should create a standardized situational awareness template outlining specific airport scenarios that may occur, identifying information inputs and metrics for identifying severity, and providing an approved response to the situation. Recommendation 26: Adopt the situational awareness template which identifies prior- ity factors which the airport deems necessary for decision-making and commit to keeping it updated and maintained as new factors are added. 9.5 Section 5, ACC Design Concept The design of the physical layout, determination of location, and selection of equipment contained within the ACC are essential in the planning process. To ensure that human fac- tors are sufficiently addressed in ACC design and operation, consider the perspective of the end users. Recommendation 27: Make the âhuman factorâ a key consideration in all ACC design deci- sions from both a physical perspective and in terms of their ability to absorb the magnitude of data that will be flowing through the ACC. The final question of the six âwhoâ, âwhatâ, âwhyâ . . . questions is âwhereâ and is answered in the design phase. The answer to the âwhereâ question is based on two underlying questions: (1) Is the ACC going to be a newly constructed facility, or (2) will it be incorporated in an exist- ing structure? Recommendation 28: Choose an ACC location that (1) is safe and secure, (2) has easy access to all necessary physical components, and (3) provides access to critical airport facilities. If no such location exists, determine how to mitigate any deficiencies as early in the planning process as possible. The design intent explains the ideas, concepts, and criteria considered important to airport management and expressed in the project charter. The Basis of Design (BoD) is the documen- tation that explains the processes and assumptions behind design decisions made to meet the design intent. The design intent evolves from more general descriptors to more specific descrip- tors during actual design, to in-depth and specific descriptors during the specifying stage, which are finalized during the as-built phase. Under each area or building system is an outline of the
124 Guidance for Planning, Design, and Operations of Airport Communications Centers building construction and operation requirements to meet the needs of the owner and the build- ing occupants. Recommendation 29: Develop a Basis of Design document which identifies for the facility designers all of the priority functions and features essential in the facility. Recommendation 30: Design for scalability, reliability, maintainability, and availability. When planning facilities, the symbiotic relationship between design and construction must be addressed. Broadly speaking, design is a process of creating the description of the ACC, usually represented by detailed plans and specifications; construction planning is a process of identify- ing the activities and resources required to make the design a physical reality. Recommendation 31: For either new construction or even minor rehabilitation, develop a full set of design documents to guide construction. In addition to typical human factors aspects, the ACC must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and possibly other regulatory requirements, depending on individual staff membersâ needs. Recommendation 32: Consider the disability requirements of persons, internally or externally, who may be using the ACC. In considering the optimum layout, users of the system will be arranged so that there is a balance of collaboration and face-to-face communication, along with a degree of privacy and isolation and acoustic separation in the performance of activities. During daily operations, certain events and the response to these events call for console operators to consult with one anotherâthis should be possible by turning in oneâs seat to discuss a situation with an adjacent console operator. Space planning may need to accommodate a range of situationsâfrom immovable architec- tural obstructions to a free arrangement and ideal positioning of consoles, furniture, support hardware, and displays. The ceiling height and beams in the ceiling directly affect how the space will be used, how the line of sight to shared displays will be accomplished, and how sounds will be perceived. It may be feasible to array consoles in an arc or circle, a cluster, or in a linear row- by-row fashion, providing adjacency for related functions. Recommendation 33: Use a professional space planner, even for the smallest ACCs, and include all of the elements which mitigate the effect of a high-stress, fast-moving operation. Because ACC staff will likely be seated for long periods, the layout and types of furniture selected must be appropriate to the task. Recommendation 34: Acquire furniture, chairs, and other ergonomic features which miti- gate the negative effect of ACC environmental conditions. Lighting is extremely important to creating an environment conducive to information absorp- tion and situational awareness. Lighting that is too bright or causes glare can seriously reduce information absorption and situational awareness and must be avoided. Overall lighting levels should be lower than in a normal office environment to enhance viewing of display screens. Recommendation 35: Consider how to ensure that both natural and artificial lighting complement the ACC environment. Sound control is important to maintaining information absorption and situational awareness, especially in high-stress environments like ACCs that also experience emergency situations.
Recommendations 125 Recommendation 36: Perform acoustic testing and adjust surfaces and layout if necessary to ensure that the sound environment is conducive to a good working atmosphere. 9.6 Section 6, Construction and Activation Activity Construction management is typically an airport business practice that has been well defined in past projects. There are a few recommendations which are best practices for developing an ACC, and they include the following. The airport probably has a construction oversight and monitoring process. In most cases, the actual construction of an ACC is a sub-project of the entire ACC initiative. This is the best approach, given that construction management principles and techniques would likely not blend well with many of the special requirements of an ACC project (e.g., develop- ing a CONOPS). Nevertheless, close coordination between the ACC project manager and the construction project manager is essential, and the best possible scenario is one where the construction schedule is integrated into the total project schedule and regular written progress reports are provided from the construction management team to the ACC project manager. Recommendation 37: Establish a close working relationship between the ACC PM and construction activities. Throughout the construction or renovation process, it is often helpful to provide the pro- jected ACC personnel with walk-throughs of the future facility. Such walk-throughs help to familiarize personnel long before training, orientation, and opening day occur and increase their comfort levels. Recommendation 38: Before opening, have a formal orientation day It is critical that the ACC open successfully, and no factor is more important for a success- ful opening than having all equipment, systems, and utilities working properly. It is essential that when the ACC opens, airport personnel can function solely on the new workflows, com- munications, and processes that have been developed. Recommendation 39: Ensure that all components of the ACC (physical, environmental, and technological) are fully tested and working prior to opening. A critical stage in the opening of an ACC is activationâthe process of preparing for the new facilityâs opening day. Activation requires many activities and the engagement of airport management and operations and maintenance staff as the facility moves from construction to operation. A successful activation includes accounting for operations and maintenance prepared- ness in contracts, schedules, and budgets during the early phases of the project; implement- ing orientation and technical familiarity training; completing staffing and training; concluding business arrangements such as leases; and preparing and conducting operations and emergency simulations and trials. Recommendation 40: Conduct a formal activation exercise where all system components and applications are tested to ensure that they not only physically work, but also meet the needs of the users. Training is a critical component in the pre-opening activities of the ACC. Although the actual training and orientation are not difficult to conduct, scheduling of such events is often fraught with difficulty. All of the personnel who need the training and orientation are likely engaged in critical airport management activities.
126 Guidance for Planning, Design, and Operations of Airport Communications Centers Recommendation 41: Ensure that a full training program is developed for all relevant systems and that staff have sufficient backup to ensure that they can attend and concentrate on the training. 9.7 Section 7, ACC Technology In recent years, significant developments in communication technology have occurred that affect an ACC, including security, the magnitude of data flow and how it can overwhelm human absorption rates, and the legacy systems present and their rate of successful use. Because technology is at the heart of the ACC, management needs to ensure that special attention is given to the selection, acquisition, implementation, operation, and maintenance of technology. The first (and, perhaps, most important) factor to consider is that in the ACC in consideration will probably be a combination of new systems and the extension of legacy systems in use in the airport. This will require a careful look at the functionality of all prospec- tive legacy systems being considered for the ACC, their usefulness, their ability to integrate into a new environment, the quality of the data, and the acceptance of the system by its current user group. Recommendation 42: Engage the airportâs IT department as soon as the project is initiated to ensure that they are fully aware of the demands that will be placed on the existing airport IT infrastructure and to ensure that all new systems and applications can be integrated with legacy systems. Given that the airportâs IT staff has a wealth of knowledge about IT resources and are famil- iar with the strengths and weaknesses of the current infrastructure, they are the best source for determining how much additional load an existing infrastructure can absorb without upgrade. Having the IT staff involved from the onset of the project is essential. In fact, in larger air- ports, if IT staff resources are sufficient and they maintain a project management office, it may even be possible to have the IT department lead the ACC effort, given that the ACC is built on technology. Recommendation 43: Engage a system integrator, if necessary, to ensure that all systems work together to produce the desired outcome. A system architecture is the conceptual model that defines functionality, processes, structure, and expectations and provides a graphical and written description of a system structure. An architecture description is a formal document and representation of a system, organized to pro- vide a clear picture of how the system operates, how its components interact, and the expected business benefit for each application in the environment. Recommendation 44: Considering the ACC as a system, develop a formal system archi- tecture which comprises all of the elements of the ACC, how they interrelate, hardware and software components, and inputs and outputs. Virtually any application existing in the airport in the current environment and a host of new systems are candidates for inclusion in the ACC. Choosing which systems to place in the ACC environment is a decision process that must be well-informed. Recommendation 45: Using the ACC system architecture, determine which legacy systems will be included in the new ACC and identify new systems to be added. All of the applications used by the ACC will ârideâ on the backbone of the airportâs net- work. Its data-at-rest and data-in-motion will reside/flow in the airportâs data centers and
Recommendations 127 telecommunication rooms. Although it is easy to overlook because, for the most part, it is not visible (except for the physical nature of the data center and telecommunication rooms), its criticality cannot be emphasized enough. Recommendation 46: Ensure that the underlying IT infrastructure is robust, scalable, and redundant for the new ACC design, from the perspectives of both the passive physical infrastructure and the active network. The workstation is the most important aspect of ACC design and special care must be given to the form factors which make up the configuration. ACC personnel are likely to be seated at a workstation for most of their working hours and comfort and utility are critical to ensure that they can focus on the subject matter, rather than their surroundings. Recommendation 47: Ensure that technology components integrate well into the ergonomic furniture and are easily adjustable to meet the needs of individual users. There are many ways to display information in an ACC, and all available options should be evaluated for the particular requirements of the ACC during the design phase of the project. Depending on the physical size and layout, the ACC may have a video wall, separate video dis- play screens arrayed throughout the facility, video monitors on each workstation (in some cases multiple monitors), or some combination of all three. Recommendation 48: Decide how to best display information in the ACC, using a com- bination of video walls and individual monitors and taking into consideration sightlines, lighting, and other environmental factors. Broadband Internet access to the World Wide Web and email is vital for ACC participants (especially during emergencies) for communicating with external agencies when traditional wire or radio links are unavailable. Internet access will be essential for participants in the EOC, who in many instances will be representing other agencies in remote locations and will need to access their home networks. Recommendation 49: Determine the best solutions for connecting the ACC with the outside world. Although airport operations are usually the most likely ACC participant, other entities such as public safety and maintenance could also play key roles in an ACC. If the airport main- tains a formal SOC, co-locating or incorporating that functionality into an ACC could benefit communications. Recommendation 50: Make a formal decision on which of the airportâs organizations will have technology resident in the ACC and how it will function in that environment. Locating some elements of the IT department in the ACC is prudent and potentially prescient, especially in the event of a major emergency. IT services could range from simple desktop sup- port, to placement of a network operations center (NOC) or an information security operations center (ISOC) if the ACC is large enough to warrant dedicated staff. Recommendation 51: Determine if the IT department will have a physical presence in the ACC and, if so, what that presence will be. Situational awareness involves understanding the relationships of events and information relative to an airportâs point of interest in both time and space. In an emergency, data moves in real time, and data not available when a decision needs to be made is not of use. Recommendation 52: Determine if the airport operator will acquire situational awareness software.
128 Guidance for Planning, Design, and Operations of Airport Communications Centers Securing the technology used in the ACC is of critical importance. As the airport becomes more reliant on the ACC, the corresponding systems that provide the ACC with data become more important. Their continued availability, confidentiality, and integrity is of paramount importance and every step necessary to ensure the successful operation of the systems and applications should be taken. Even for small and medium-sized airports, security begins with security governance. As either a component of the Facility Security Plan or as a standalone initiative, ensuring proper security controls is essential to system security. Recommendation 53: Create a technology security governance committee and approach to ensure that all ACC systems are protected physically and from a cyber perspective. Recommendation 54: Perform a cybersecurity risk assessment. Some elements of the ACC, such as video surveillance and the massive amount of data that it generates, raise legal considerations that affect system planning, design, and operational usage patterns. From the placement of cameras to the safeguarding and retention of the data collected to the access, use, and dissemination of that data, security system planners and designers must be mindful of requirements imposed by federal, state, and local laws. Recommendation 55: Include airport legal counsel on all aspects of the ACC design, functionality, system components, and data and information considerations. 9.8 Section 8, Operations The primary mission of an airport staff is to ensure continuous, safe, secure, and efficient oper- ation of everything within the physical boundaries of the airport, including runways, terminals, roadways, support facilities, perimeters, and critical infrastructure. A good working environ- ment is critical to bringing about the clear, direct, and coherent communications necessary to achieve this goal. A critical element in maintaining the effectiveness of the ACC, once it is implemented, is to ensure that it evolves with changes in the airport organization, structure, and mission. Major changes in the airportâs operations, such as a shift to a fully common use airport or the opening of a new runway or terminal, will have a major effect on the ACC. However, even the smallest change could affect the systems, processes, and procedures in place, and ACC management must make the appropriate modifications necessary to ensure that changing conditions have been properly reflected in the all of the ACCâs supporting documentation, including the CONOPS, situational awareness templates, policies, and SOPs. Depending on the structure which the airport director has chosen for ACC management, this responsibility falls on the shoulders of the ACC manager or a committee of those organizations represented in the ACC. Whatever the management structure, changes must be reflected in a timely and accurate manner consistent with the operational change. Recommendation 56: Ensure that the roles and responsibilities for ACC management reporting lines are clear. The CONOPS embodies the intended mission and functionality of the ACC. As the number of systems increases and the complexity of the systems grow, it is more important than ever for all ACC personnel to fully understand the CONOPS. The CONOPS provides the operational guid- ance that dictates how the systems should be used, the information that will be provided, proper maintenance of the system, and how the system will complement their own skills and expertise.
Recommendations 129 The basic outline for a set of operating procedures will be established during the development of the CONOPS, in which stakeholders consider each ACC function, the information needed for that function, the decision-making process, and the parameters available on which to make decisions and achieve the desired outcome. The ACC SOPs are based on the CONOPS. Virtu- ally every function listed in the CONOPS will have at least one (and likely many) corresponding SOP. The ACC SOP document consists of step-by-step information on how to execute a specific ACC task. The airport probably has a comprehensive document or at least several policies and procedures previously created. It may be that the airportâs primary goal is to simply compile all of its outstanding procedures, re-write them in a common format, and publish this as its SOP document. Recommendation 57: Develop a systemic and consistent approach to the development, maintenance, and use of SOPs. Management of ACC personnel is perhaps one of the biggest challenges in the airport envi- ronment. Depending on the functionality of the ACC, the size of the staff, the number of sys- tems, and the level of activity in the airport, the stress level of ACC personnel can be high. This is especially true during irregular operations and emergency conditions. Recommendation 58: Stress the importance of the ACC personnel as a factor when making ACC-related decisions. All ACC personnel should be familiar with and trained on all aspects of the ACCâs operations. As procedures are added, revised, or eliminated, continued training of ACC personnel is essen- tial to ensuring effective operations. Recommendation 59: Commit to regular training of ACC personnel and testing of proce- dures and processes (especially emergency or irregular operational procedures), to ensure that they are understood and can be carried out when needed, Ensuring that the ACC maintains a comfortable working environment is critical. Every aspect of the working conditions, from lighting to temperature control to physical space, must be maintained in the most pleasant condition possible. Typically, the airportâs facility management staff will be responsible for the physical nature of the ACC. Recommendation 60: Designate one individual with the authority and responsibility to ensure that all physical and environmental components in the ACC meet acceptable working conditions. The safety and security of the ACC are of critical importance. As the nerve center of the airport operation, the ACC must be able to operate without interruption in the event of any natural or human-made occurrence. A risk assessment is recommended for during the project manage- ment phase of the project implementation. The risk assessment should cover any potential risk the ACC could face. Revisit the risk assessment regularly (at least annually) to ensure that risks are correctly listed and that mitigation activities remain relevant to the risk. The airport operator should continually update its risk assessment and develop mitigating actions in a formal plan. The plan and actions should be overseen by a committee tasked with ACC security, typically called an FSC. Although the ASP may be sufficient for the rest of the airport, the security of the ACC requires additional review and from a larger group than the public safety organization. A formal FSC should be created specifically to manage ACC security. The public safety group is included in this group and, ultimately, all decisions could be included in the ASP. Recommendation 61: Create a formal FSC to manage the ACCâs security.
130 Guidance for Planning, Design, and Operations of Airport Communications Centers The FSC is responsible for ensuring that a written Facility Security Plan is developed specifi- cally for the ACC. Recommendation 62: Create a formal Facility Security Plan for the ACC. If the primary ACC location is disabled for any reason, natural or human-made, the airport must have a business continuity plan to temporarily relocate its ACC personnel to a backup facility where the critical functionality of the ACC can be conducted until the primary facility is restored. Recommendation 63: Choose an appropriate backup site for the primary ACC.