The OCC is the nerve centre of an airline, responsible for orchestrating flights, managing disruptions, and ensuring the overall safety and efficiency of operations. Central to the OCC’s success are well-defined policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
It is also important to ensure your policy and SOPs are routinely updated to reflect the current state of affairs.
In this article, we will explore the crucial importance of policy and procedure in an airline OCC.
- Safety First
The airline industry places the highest priority on safety, and the OCC is at the forefront of maintaining this commitment. Policies and SOPs serve as the backbone of safety management, ensuring that all flight operations adhere to stringent safety standards. These policies ensure that every part of your operation is meticulously planned and executed without deviation. In this way, your OCC can minimize risks and maintain the highest safety standards.
- Standardization and Consistency
Airlines operate in a highly regulated environment, where compliance with regulations is mandatory. Policies and SOPs provide a standardized framework for all OCC staff, ensuring that everyone follows the same guidelines and protocols. This standardisation is vital in preventing errors, reducing confusion, and improving the overall consistency of airline operations.
- Efficiency and Cost Control
Well-defined policies and SOPs help streamline operations. For example, having standardised checklists for flight planning, aircraft swaps, and passenger disruption notifications can significantly improve the efficiency of your staff and mitigate confusion at the airports. Similarly, procedures for fuel planning can lead to substantial cost savings by optimizing fuel consumption across the airline’s fleet.
- Disruption Management
In aviation, disruptions are inevitable. Weather events, technical issues, air traffic congestion, and a multitude of other factors can all disrupt flight schedules. The OCC plays a pivotal role in getting the operation back on track.
Policies and SOPs provide OCC staff with a clear roadmap for responding to such situations. Whether it’s rerouting flights, reassigning crews, or communicating with passengers, having established procedures in place is essential for minimizing disruptions and ensuring passenger satisfaction.
- Compliance and Reporting
The OCC is are subject to rigorous reporting requirements, both internally and to regulatory bodies. Policies and SOPs help ensure that all necessary data is captured accurately and reported in a timely manner.
This compliance not only keeps the airline in good standing with regulatory authorities but also helps identify areas for improvement and optimisation. Audits will go by much smoother if you can point to a policy or SOP for each area your OCC is responsible for.
- Training and Development
Airlines invest heavily in the training and development of their OCC staff. Policies and SOPs are invaluable tools in this process. They serve as the foundation for training programs, helping new employees understand the intricacies of their roles and responsibilities. Additionally, they provide a framework for ongoing training and skill development, ensuring that OCC staff are always up-to-date with the latest industry best practices.
- Emergencies and Crisis Management
Perhaps the most important time for a set of policy and SOPs is when there is a crisis. Whether it is an IT outage that causes the check-in system to fail, a major weather disruption in your hub airport, or an aircraft accident, you want your OCC to know exactly how to respond. And quickly.
Emergency procedures should be regularly tested in times of normal operations.
Policy and SOPs provide the necessary structure and guidance for OCC staff to perform their duties effectively and consistently. From safety and standardisation to crisis management and cost control, policies and procedures are the cornerstones of success in airline OCCs.