ENAIRE Best Practices to Tackle COVID-19

ENAIRE, as the air traffic manager in Spain and in line with the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda strategy, is stepping up to the situation we are going through as a result of COVID-19 with a series of extraordinary measures.

Since the first coronavirus cases were detected in the country, ENAIRE, the State’s critical operator, has fully maintained its activity in the administration, management and provision of air traffic services, in accordance with the scenarios incorporated throughout this period.

The company’s management and administration activities are working at full capacity through the governing bodies, i.e., committees, executive team, management structure across different levels of responsibility and other employees. Pursuant to Royal Decree 8/2020 of 17 March 2020, ENAIRE employees in the Madrid region and Vitoria province have been working remotely since 11 March, as have the staff in all offices nationwide since 16 March.

The ENAIRE systems department provided employees with PCs and office computers as well as the necessary connections so they could all access their folders, work tools and the corporate intranet.

In its duty to protect worker health and safety, as a result of the emergence of the virus and to prevent the potential hit all centres could take, ENAIRE launched a Global Action Plan to address the impact of coronavirus. The measures implemented are detailed below:

• The ENAIRE Coronavirus Monitoring Committee was formed on 28 February, with active and face-to-face meetings connected in real time 24/7. The committee comprises most steering committee members except for the business development and economic and finance directors and the general secretary, although they attended some of the meetings when their presence was required.

• The committee is responsible for decision-making and monitoring the different measures adopted across all action areas. A further operational group reporting to the monitoring committee was established to analyse, evaluate and propose technical/operational measures for approval by the monitoring committee.

• The committee's activities also include coordination and communication with the committees and bodies of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the Spanish Air Transport Facilitation Committee (CEFTA), Aena, AESA, trade unions and international organisations, especially EUROCONTROL.

• The following plans were approved by the monitoring committee on 2 March:

• ENAIRE Coronavirus Action Plan, with preventive measures aimed primarily at protecting employee health. Three alert levels were established, able to declared for all ENAIRE premises in general or at regional or local level. Level 3 is the most restrictive.

• Service Continuity Plan against coronavirus contingencies. The plan sets out the operational measures and different potential scenarios needed to ensure service continuity at all times, in line with workforce availability (control, maintenance and operations) and air traffic evolution.

• Complete implementation of teleworking by all non-operational staff (controllers and maintenance technicians) and adaptation of control rooms and other room layouts, separating controller positions, using separation screens and realigning work shifts.

• COVID-19 Emergency Flight Incident Management Communication Procedure for notifying health authorities of persons suspected of having the virus on board aircraft.

• Analysis of cases related to staff returning from trips and questioning their reincorporation in the workforce in line with where they flew in from.

• Joint advice and coordination of measures with ENAIRE regional departments.

• Determination of the necessary material in anticipation of uncertain scenarios and coordination of related procurement orders.

With regards steering committee members, they have all remained active and are working from home, discharging their duties and responsibilities with no need for exceptional measures.

The steering and operational security committees have remained active, although most activities across all areas of management have been concentrated on the COVID-19 monitoring committee.

ENAIRE promotes its best practices through all available communication channels. Internally, employees are informed daily via the company intranet about the measures the organisation has taken. In addition, reports with recommendations, updated information from the Ministry of Health and prevention measures arising from our plans are mass-distributed. Teleworking guidelines and tips have been released, along with awareness of SDG3 ‘Health and Wellness’.

The ENAIRE website has created specific pages with the latest news on the evolution of the virus and its impact on air traffic. A carousel has been enabled on the homepage to position the information of most interest to our stakeholders.

EUROCONTROL member states approved the deferral of en-route air traffic control fees for flights made between February and May. This postponement would not have been possible without the significant financial effort, investment and cost containment assumed by ENAIRE as a Spanish service provider and which provides significant support to airlines, positively impacting their workers, the industry and the movement of people.

ENAIRE performs outreach through press releases and social networks on how it is performing its core activities, prioritising flights with health supplies and repatriation operations.

Beyond providing employees with information on COVID-19, ENAIRE considers it essential to thank all employees for their effort and to encourage them to push through these tough times. Specific communication campaigns have been implemented:

• Launch of a new issue of Vuela magazine.

• Video in recognition of ENAIRE staff: maintenance and operations technicians, air traffic controllers, engineers and administration and service personnel.

• Launch of the ‘Keep in Touch’ campaign, encouraging colleagues to share their experience of working in these circumstances, either at home or on-the-job if their position did not make teleworking possible (technicians, controllers…)

• Outreach over social networks of all the above initiatives under the hashtag #SoyENAIRE.

• An initiative for kids to send in a drawing with a positive message to encourage our colleagues who have to work onsite. All drawings received will be printed and posted in the facilities.

ENAIRE has also invited employees to work in solidarity on the following initiatives coordinated with the Ministry and other ENAIRE stakeholders.

• To deliver on this challenge, ENAIRE employees have organised a charitable campaign encouraging people to voluntarily, privately and anonymously make donations to buy and distribute food to people in need. The money raised will go towards initiatives run by the Spanish Food Bank Federation and the Red Cross to provide food to people unable meet their most basic needs.

• Open Innovation: Ideas laboratory where ENAIRE professionals can propose ideas around the preparation of materials, 3D printing or other activities of potential use at the moment, with the option of partnering with other public entities.

• ENAIRE psychological support office for employees.

• Partnership with Viena Capellanes to provide free pastries and coffee during breaks for people working at the IFEMA field hospital.

• The ENAIRE Occupational Risk Prevention service works offsite managing the Madrid main offices and the regional centres in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and the Canary and Balearic Islands. The ORP units handle employee queries 24/7, report the guidelines to be followed and perform a personalised follow-up of each case. A psychological and support service has also been made available to all staff.