Turin Airport uses PathPlanner™ to ensure the Europa League final goes without a hitch

2014-09-01


PathPlanner™ results in action at TurinThe Union of European Football Association (UEFA) Europa League football final between Sevilla (Spain) and Benfica (Portugal), hosted at Turin Juventus Stadium in Italy on May 14th 2014, represented a traffic record for Turin Airport. Second only in terms of volume to when the city hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics, the Europa League match saw double the amount of aircraft movements when compared with a normal winter day, typically regarded as the peak traffic period at Turin Airport thanks to snow charters flights. Over 7,300 supporters arrived on 23 charter flights from Spain and 18 from Portugal, in addition to over 5,000 supporters who arrived on scheduled commercial flights.

 

As a result of the extra flight and passenger numbers, apron management was unsurprisingly a big challenge. “As soon as we knew the names of the teams that would be playing in the final, we immediately started to plan how to accept as many flights as possible at our airport” said Rosario Principe, Airfield Operations Manager. “We did this knowing that the types of aircraft to be used wouldn’t be confirmed until one day prior to their arrival.” The team at Turin Airport used PathPlanner™ Airside+ to help them undertake this task.

 

With maximum capacity of 31 stands for regular operations, several of which are International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Code D and E, Turin Airport set about making the necessary adjustments to accommodate the extra charter aircraft from Spain and Portugal. All of the aircraft were set to land on the morning of May 14th and depart again during the evening of May 15th, in addition to 70 scheduled commercial flights and dozens of general aviation flights.

To handle this situation, a new temporary parking layout specifically for the Europa League final was studied using PathPlanner Airside+. Giancarlo Paralovo, Sagat Engineering Designer, explains that “every anticipated movement was simulated ‘on the fly’ and marked on the ground just hours before the first aircraft was set to land. The layouts respected minimum ICAO clearance distances and all stands were push-in/push-out with ‘follow-me’ vehicles and/or assistance from a wing man.” 

 

On the Main Apron, a second row of parking positions for up to six Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 aircraft was added, 

 

each position placed between two existing stands. On the South Apron, the positions were placed as close together as possible, earning us an extra stand. To free up further space, 12 overnight parking positions were moved to the Alenia/Italian Air Force Apron, where another specific layout was created to maximize the use of the space.

 

Agreeing to a temporary operational plan and, for security reasons, a strategy to keep Sevilla stands, passenger flows and terminals separated from Benfica’s lead to additional logistical challenges. “Despite high volume traffic and the second-line stands which locked parts of the apron, all flights departed within a 4 hour window and the 12 scheduled overnight aircraft were pushed back to their allotted stands before 06:00 local time, as if nothing had happened!” said Gianni Di Domenico, Head of Operational Planning and Apron Supervision. “Without PathPlanner, we would have had a very, very difficult time handling that many extra flights” summarized Paralovo.

 

Match result? 0-0 after extra time; Sevilla won 4-2 on penalties.

 

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