PHL Opens New Airport Operations Center

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) has opened its new Airport Operations Center (AOC) in its former Communications Center between Terminals C and D on Departures Road. The AOC serves as the nerve center of the airport, bringing together various personnel and departments such as Airport Operations Coordinators (AOCs); Job Control and Call Center Operators; and Systems Control (security), the IT Help Desk, emergency dispatch, and a Lost and Found Office all in one location. After a few years of planning, it took approximately two years to complete the project and transition each unit to the location.  


The AOC provides airport stakeholders with a single point of contact for key groups, making operations more efficient and coherent. 

 The facility uses cutting-edge technology, including a video wall with multiple displays that provide relevant information each department requires to make critical decisions, like assigning a gate to an airline diversion or a parking spot for an emergency aircraft.  The state-of-the-art air traffic monitoring system shows live all air traffic in the northeast region (or the country) while highlighting all the aircraft arriving into or departing from PHL. There are also monitors that show in real-time all movements on the airfield and all of the airport's 126 gates. The AOC has a gate planning chart that shows when and where aircraft will arrive and park. The use of these monitors helps to ensure safety and real-time communication with employees and stakeholders.    


“The airport operates on a minute-by-minute basis, and we must be able to project activity from now up to the next 36 hours,” said Chris Dougherty, Vice President of Operations and Security. “The AOC constantly monitors aircraft activity and tracks weather in the Northeast region. In the winter, weather becomes a high priority, and operations must constantly track for precipitation and be prepared to put the call out for snow removal and any aircraft deicing needed.  


The AOC is the heartbeat of the airport, where we monitor practically everything that happens on a moment-by-moment basis. And having it all concentrated in one place is very practical and leads to precise tactical decisions.” 




Media Contacts

Christine Ottow
Director of Strategic Communications
[email protected]
Heather Redfern
Public Affairs Manager
[email protected]

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