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United's New Network Operations Center (w/pics)  
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25346 posts, RR: 49
Posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 13109 times:

United Airlines showed off its new network operations center (NOC) located at the Willis Tower in Chicago to the media on Monday.

The new facility combines the operational nerve centers of both Continental and United under a single roof and is where the combined team of employees oversee flight planning, weather forecasting, crew scheduling, maintenance control and FAA ATC liaison for the combined airlines.

Story:
United shows off new downtown operations center
http://www.suntimes.com/business/132...ew-downtown-operations-center.html

About 30-photos:
http://www.suntimes.com/photos/galleries/index.html?story=13269459

=


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineflyhossd From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 886 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 13076 times:

Are they still having phone problems?


My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16865 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 13039 times:

Very nice, looks like a trading floor.


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16865 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 12954 times:

Do they still have that emergency back-up center in that bunker outside Houston?


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25346 posts, RR: 49
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 12937 times:

The DR site is also in Chicago. No point in having anything in Houston when all your staff is in windy city now.


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9634 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 12913 times:

It looks a bit nicer than the old operations control center at Elk Grove Village, although Elk Grove Village was a relatively nice facility.

Personally it amazes me that UA executive leadership was convinced to move to Willis Tower from Elk Grove Village. I guess it does not matter much where the operations control center is, but for all the engineering, I don't think it makes sense to be in Chicago. It used to be split between San Francisco, Elk Grove Village and Houston. My personal opinion is that engineering should be near the airplanes whether it be SFO, ORD or IAH. Downtown in a high rise doesn't make much sense to me. Also it probably isn't that fun for all the office staff commuting from IAH/SFO to have to drive or take a train into the city. The Elk Grove Shuttle bus was quite convenient.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2759 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 12876 times:

It's strange looking at those pictures and recognizing a couple people from my short few months in the SOCC at CO.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 2):

Smith St. looked like a trading floor too. I gave tours to new hire pilots and more than a few commented that it looked like CNBC should be there interviewing someone about the stock market.

Quote:
Do they still have that emergency back-up center in that bunker outside Houston?

They actually had two backup sites in Houston. Only one was in a bunker.

[Edited 2012-06-19 12:13:15]


It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25346 posts, RR: 49
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 12842 times:

Remember CO was also in a downtown office building – 51 story Cullen Center.

Not a strange concept to have airlines located in city centers -- Anyone remember the Pan Am building in NYC?



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineBCEaglesCO757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 242 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 12691 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 6):
It's strange looking at those pictures and recognizing a couple people from my short few months in the SOCC at CO.

Were you in Load Planning ?

I applied for Load Planning in the summer of 2008. It never worked out, and was a good thing. They were talking merger and fuel as sky high. Don't think my senority would have gotten me through this if I were downtown. As the Manager let me know he had some guys who were going to retire, L Carroll being one I remember. Then a couple that had some health issues. My hope was to get into load planning then jump over to dispatch. But now with everyone in Chicago and me being a Boston native I have no desire to move back up north. While I would say Boston is more expensive than ORD, it's still more epensive than Houston. And much colder than both BOS and IAH.

No thanks.


User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2759 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 12481 times:

Quoting BCEaglesCO757 (Reply 8):
Were you in Load Planning ?

I was an intern a few years before you applied. I sat next to Load Planning and across the row from the Ops Director



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineBCEaglesCO757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 242 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 12057 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 9):
I was an intern a few years before you applied. I sat next to Load Planning and across the row from the Ops Director

The 12th and 13th floors were a great place. Load Planning was an eye opener on how and why things were done that way. Also a few told me Chevron was hiring away alot of dispatchers for a while. Never saw what the corelation was,but remember a few guys telling me that. The Houston SOCC setup was really nice IMO.

One of my memories was getting to the garage and parking my car and seeing Larry Kellners mettalic blue porsche 911 right there at the elavators.


User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 1211 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 12019 times:
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the new center is nice, I still think they could have done more sooner in getting all the troops together to work out the seating and locations so the center would be more integrated with each other. seems that some executive worked out hte seating plan and it also gives the impression they didn't have a CLUE as to what they were doing and who interfaces with whom OR why!
the floor plan is jacked up and the software and phones are equally jacked up.. Heck!! I could have messed this up for a whole lot less money than they paid some consultant.


User currently offlineBCEaglesCO757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 242 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 11994 times:

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 11):
the new center is nice, I still think they could have done more sooner in getting all the troops together to work out the seating and locations so the center would be more integrated with each other. seems that some executive worked out hte seating plan and it also gives the impression they didn't have a CLUE as to what they were doing and who interfaces with whom OR why!
the floor plan is jacked up and the software and phones are equally jacked up.. Heck!! I could have messed this up for a whole lot less money than they paid some consultant.

  


User currently offlineSkyTeamTriStar From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 392 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 11680 times:

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 11):
he new center is nice, I still think they could have done more sooner in getting all the troops together to work out the seating and locations so the center would be more integrated with each other. seems that some executive worked out hte seating plan and it also gives the impression they didn't have a CLUE as to what they were doing and who interfaces with whom OR why!
the floor plan is jacked up and the software and phones are equally jacked up.. Heck!! I could have messed this up for a whole lot less money than they paid some consultant.

100% Agreed. Common sense prevails. The flow to the room looks & feels off. It just does. Fluorescent lighting? Come on! Lighting is key....


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25346 posts, RR: 49
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 11571 times:

Keep in mind, the Willis facility was decided on prior to the merger and having to consolidate CO ops also threw a wrench in the plan and caused a redesign on the intended floor plans.
End result was there simply was not enough room to collocate all the departments side by side in the NOC per UA's original concept along with a delay in moving in, due to the changes required.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineByrdluvs747 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2359 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 11418 times:

It seems a little smaller and more cramped compared to AA's. Was the previous center larger? I don't see why they chose to use such expensive floorspace for an ops center.



Bigger Image

[Edited 2012-06-19 18:21:37]


The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
User currently offlinecrash65 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 74 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10421 times:

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 11):
seems that some executive worked out hte seating plan and it also gives the impression they didn't have a CLUE as to what they were doing and who interfaces with whom OR why!
the floor plan is jacked up and the software and phones are equally jacked up.. Heck!! I could have messed this up for a whole lot less money than they paid some consultant.

At least now the the NOC's feel and flow is consistent with the feel and flow of operations out on the line. SNAJU!!!!


User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8362 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10004 times:

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 15):
It seems a little smaller and more cramped compared to AA's. Was the previous center larger? I don't see why they chose to use such expensive floorspace for an ops center.

That was my first thought too. If I was a share holder I wouldn't be happy. At least in the technology sectors, NOC's are typically located in cities/states where the combination of real estate and electricity are cheap.


User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5235 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9443 times:

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 15):
I don't see why they chose to use such expensive floorspace for an ops center.

Actually, the lower floors of the Sears Tower tend to be somewhat inexpensive. Because the lower floors are the largest, they can't be easily broken up into smaller suites. Remember that the Sears Tower was opened in 1974. That was back when large corporations used to be in buildings with large footprints. You had to get promoted to get an office with windows, and people high up on the org. charts got corner offices.

At one time, Sears, Roebuck's main frame computer took up an entire floor, and they envisioned needing more computing power and using one or two more floors for additional mainframes. The concept of networking desktop computers didn't come along until about 10 years after Sears, Roebuck moved its headquarters into the Loop from the Near West Side.

Offices now don't need huge expanses of space, so the largest floors in the Sears Tower have become difficult to lease. Thus, the lease rates are lower than what you would expect for a building that is probably Class A space near Union Station and Northwestern Station.

I suspect that the lease rate per square foot is higher for UA HQ on West Wacker Drive than for the NOC on South Wacker Drive. The building in which HQ is located has smaller floors that are much easier to lease.


User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9634 posts, RR: 52
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8356 times:

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 15):
It seems a little smaller and more cramped compared to AA's. Was the previous center larger? I don't see why they chose to use such expensive floorspace for an ops center.

The OPC in Elk Grove Village was very cramped and too small. Not everyone that should have been in the operations control center was. They had to overflow into other parts of the building. I believe maintenance control had to be located in a separate office area.

From what I had heard, leasing the space in Willis Tower was much cheaper than maintaining the campus at Elk Grove Village. With the tax incentives given and low lease rates due to low occupancy rates in the loop, it made sense to relocate people. In fact they relocated people from offices in San Francisco that are not just sitting vacant since the offices can’t be sold off since they are attached to the hangars.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineYchocky From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8035 times:

Shiny new digs!

Anyone recognize their A.net photos on the desktop backgrounds? I see a 737 and a 767  


User currently offlineflyhossd From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 886 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8005 times:

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 1):
Are they still having phone problems?
Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 11):
and the software and phones are equally jacked up..

Thanks for answering my question. Wasn't it Smisek that described UA as "an IT company with wings"? Yet, they're still having phone problems...

Quoting crash65 (Reply 16):
SNAJU!!!!

OK, I know what SNAFU is - what does SNAJU mean?



My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
User currently offlineBC77008 From United States of America, joined Sep 2011, 304 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8004 times:

My partner was a load planner for CO in Houston and now for UA in Chicago. I've visited both facilities, the one on Smith St in Houston and the Willis Tower location. Yes the Willis Tower is a very high tech facility, I feel like I'm on the set of Star Trek.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 5):
Also it probably isn't that fun for all the office staff commuting from IAH/SFO to have to drive or take a train into the city. The Elk Grove Shuttle bus was quite convenient.

That my friend is where the whole decision on where to put the new combined company's headquarters comes from. The City of Chicago gave UA a sweet tax deal/financial incentive at least a year before the merger with CO to move the company's headquarters from Elk Grove Village into downtown Chicago. Later when UA and CO announced their merger, it was already apparent where their headquarters were going to be and that is why Houston didn't stand a chance. And that is also why the combined UA doesn't necessarily care about convenience and accessibility of it's employees, which is not to say downtown Chicago is a bad location, because it's not, but the decision was money driven. $$$$$



"He waited his whole damn life to take that flight. And as the plane crashed down he thought 'Well isn't this nice...'"
User currently offlinejfklganyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3469 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8004 times:

United should ask former New York City Mayor Guiliani what his thoughts are about having an operations center in the tallest building in the United States.

Guiliani insisted on putting the NYC Emergency Command Center at the World Trade Center over various objections for obvious reasons. When our biggest emergency happend, we had no command center and the Mayor was almost killed.

That said, putting the operations center in a known terrorist target is downright stupid. Especially when the airline was previously touched by terror only 11 years ago.

You wonder what security firm United consulted in this decision...and who signed off on it.


User currently offlinelaca773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4017 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7982 times:
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Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 5):
Personally it amazes me that UA executive leadership was convinced to move to Willis Tower from Elk Grove Village. I guess it does not matter much where the operations control center is, but for all the engineering, I don't think it makes sense to be in Chicago. It used to be split between San Francisco, Elk Grove Village and Houston. My personal opinion is that engineering should be near the airplanes whether it be SFO, ORD or IAH. Downtown in a high rise doesn't make much sense to me. Also it probably isn't that fun for all the office staff commuting from IAH/SFO to have to drive or take a train into the city. The Elk Grove Shuttle bus was quite convenient.



Is there anything left of the Elk Grove Village? It sounds like it's pretty quiet around there.


25 Post contains links Josh32121 : Um, large companies still need large expanses of space to house their workers. I live that Office Space dream every day. Part of the reason Willis To
26 BC77008 : Putting an operations center in the South is stupid because of hurricanes, putting it in the mid-states is stupid because of Tornadoes. Putting it Ca
27 Post contains images RDH3E : Guys, you have to realize that *most of the design ideas for the floorplan etc were derived from DL's NOC and from the input of UA employees working
28 United1 : HQ is moving to Willis BTW...they are moving out of Wacker. ...I think I heard somewhere that is were the back up ops center will be located. Not sur
29 B757jetjockey : I believe it is "Situation Normal All Jeff'd Up"
30 Post contains images crash65 : Beat me too it.
31 DL WIDGET HEAD : I'm not surprised. UA's NOC looks remarkably similar to DL's OCC.
32 United1 : if they used the entire 27th floor, it's a little hard to tell off the photos, it's about 55,000 square feet. I think that's roughly equivalent to AA
33 jfklganyc : "Putting an operations center in the South is stupid because of hurricanes, putting it in the mid-states is stupid because of Tornadoes. Putting it Ca
34 STT757 : I think few people outside the US are even aware that the building formerly known as the Sears tower even exists. It's not a world known landmark lik
35 BC77008 : It's currently the tallest building in the entire Western hemisphere, and held the title as "world's tallest building" from 1973 to 1998. It is most
36 777ord : The old CO headquarters were actually 1600 Smith Street. Which is now another Chevron building. The floor is actually really cool, and I enjoy workin
37 Post contains images CODC10 : Also known as the Cullen Center.
38 Post contains images DeltaL1011man : A little bit extreme. I was just getting ready to ask this. So what will be left at Elk Grove? If that is the case i have no idea how we would be som
39 United1 : ...I think I heard somewhere that is were the back up ops center will be located. Not sure if they are going to keep F/A training there.
40 RDH3E : They are trying to sell the South building (the 2 story one) for someone to knock down and build a warehouse or something. The North building as far
41 ckfred : All true. But the number of large companies that don't mind a large open space is somewhat small, compared to the number of professional firms (law,
42 Post contains images RDH3E : We are laid out with 10 "single" offices and 2 "double" offices (Senior folks) along the East and West sides, with the North and South open with just
43 slider : And don't forget uA has a covenant with the City of Chicago to have X number of employees located there....
44 RDH3E : That's a condition of the Tax Breaks. But I think what he was suggesting is that there are plenty of other buildings in the loop that we could've put
45 Post contains images United727 : **THIS IS NOT FUNNY AT ALL!!!** I questioned this when I first learned of the plans about 2 years ago!! Nearly an hour away from ORD...
46 type-rated : I once worked for a company like that. When you hired on you were assigned a "Level Number" according to how high you ranked in the company. Bottom l
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