Multi-use contingency facilities provide fallback resources that normally are deployed to meet other ANS requirements but which can be converted to maintain services in the aftermath of a contingency event.
Multi-use facilities maximise the economic benefit of any investments by providing alternate applications, including simulation and training, for equipment and infrastructure that would otherwise only be used in very rare contingency operations.
Multi-Use Facilities include Training Development Units, Training Schools and Simulators. In order to ease the costs of contingency provision, backup systems may be redeployed from training and simulation should a primary facility fail. However, this can create problems when contingency managers need to access the shared resource to run recuperation drills; the resource would then not be available for use by other members of an ANSP. Conversely, during a contingency the training and simulation facilities that might otherwise be used to debug system failures would not be available to engineering teams because they would be needed as the primary contingency facility. There are similarities between the Multi-Use and Co-located strategies. Some ANSPs using Multi-Use strategies also exploit a co-located solution. However, this is not always the case and some ANSPs propose the development of national centres based on their training/simulation facilities which are in some cases a short distance away from any of the major national control centres.
Dual-use of certain infrastructures (e.g. training and test suites, simulators etc) may or may not be reassigned and developed on the same sites as the primary centres.
As part of the immediate and short-term actions, it may be possible for staff to begin configuration of the contingency facility to take over from the primary system. Depending on the extent of this task, it may be possible for the contingent system to assist in "clearing the skies".