More efficient air traffic control: Automation gives more power to air navigation safety
Air Navigation Services Finland (ANS Finland) is responsible for managing the use of Finnish airspace as well as providing flight route and air navigation services at 22 airports in Finland. The company offers air traffic control services for area traffic control and airports, as well as the maintenance and development of air traffic control equipment. ANS Finland employs 420 people, 290 of whom are air traffic controllers and 60 work in technology. Since 2019, ANS Finland is part of Traffic Management Finland Group.
Except for area traffic control, all air traffic control services in Finland have been opened for competition. The operations are still tightly regulated and subject to strict rules for immediate reporting. Therefore, ANS Finland needs to design its operations to be as efficient and expedient as possible. Achieving cost-efficiency and auditability while ensuring quality requires a process-based operation and large-scale digitalization.
One solution, several use-cases
ANS Finland supports its process automation and digitization with Efecte’s Enterprise Service Management (ESM) solution. On the technology side of air traffic control, the system is used by 60 employees. Additionally, the entire ANS Finland personnel uses it for occurrence reporting.
ANS Finland uses Efecte’s solution to monitor the operation of air traffic control equipment. The system constantly and automatically calculates the mean time between faults. This helps for example in planning preventive maintenance and investments and following inventory levels. When an air traffic controller issues a fault report on a device to an outsourced service desk, the information immediately reveals the severity level and response time for repairs. The service desk creates an occurrence report, and the technical duty personnel of ANS Finland can initiate the necessary action to remedy the situation - in near real time, if needed.
“On the technology side, automatic occurrence handling has allowed us to outsource support functions. Due to the flexibility of Efecte’s solution, we have been able to reduce the number of software tools and systems in use from five to one,” says Hannu Valtonen, Competence and Quality Manager, ANS System Management.
Unique competence monitoring
Efecte’s solution is also used for the competence management of technical personnel, required by EU legislation. An application built on Efecte sends notifications when employee’s qualifications are about to expire and guides the employee to perform the needed training, theory tests or exams. Once done, it automatically reports them as completed. The software also notifies employees if they do not have a valid qualification for a technical system they are about to start working on. Automatic competence monitoring has made managers’ work easier. In addition to competencies, the solution also monitors many other tasks related to the availability of technical personnel, including on-duty shifts, absences and vacations.
“Our system for qualification and competence management is unique in Europe,” Valtonen says. “It has generated interest in other countries, too, because within the EU, the regulation requires the same quality and documented operation from every service provider.”
Efficient process management
Managing both the technology and the competence and availability of personnel in one single system allows automatic monitoring and reporting of a wide range of business factors. Through automation, ANS Finland saves time and money, and processes are better managed, simpler and more transparent.
“The reduction of manual work is a great benefit for us,” Valtonen says. “We used to have our own people do everything manually 24/7, but now automation has made it possible for us to allocate our own personnel to relevant tasks, outsource support functions, and reduce paperwork.”
“Efecte is big enough to sustain sufficient investment in innovation, but small enough for us to get our voice heard.”
Reliable and flexible solution
ANS Finland has used Efecte’s solution for over two years, and according to Valtonen, the system has not been down once. Flexibility is exemplified by the ease in which additional customer-specific applications can be built on top of Efecte’s system.
Reliability and flexibility are properties Valtonen also connects with Efecte as a company. “Efecte is a Finnish company and has understanding on the flexible Finnish working culture, which is important in workload management systems. The company is also big enough to sustain sufficient investment in product development and branding, but small enough for us to get our voice heard in product development.”
“If we had to choose a new system right now, we would likely select Efecte’s software and Efecte as a vendor again.”
Efecte’s partner Verco Oy implemented the solution for ANS Finland. Verco enabled tailoring the system and its user interface to exactly meet the specific needs of the customer. Verco has implemented a web application that uses Efecte as its backend. This makes it possible that on top of competences, tasks, on-duty shifts, and absences, ANS Finland can also manage predictive maintenance, fixes, project tasks, and changes throughout Finland in a timely and uninterrupted manner.
” Collaboration with Verco has been easy and adaptive, and they always take the customer’s needs into consideration. In joint development meetings, we have together ideated and developed functionalities that have brought added value to our business and created knowledge capital for Verco,” Hannu Valtonen says and continues:” Verco’s consultants have really managed to bend Efecte’s platform to unexpectedly versatile uses. Jointly we have been able to actualize functionalities that yield more straightforward processes and entirely new ways of working for us.”
| Visibility and ease of instant reporting to meet regulatory requirements
| Versatility and flexibility with single tool for several use cases
| Increased efficiency and cost savings