What is ECP on Airbus A320? (Ecam Control Panel)

The ECAM Control Panel, also known as the ECP, is an integral part of the Airbus A320 aircraft’s cockpit. It plays a crucial role in providing vital information to the pilots and enabling them to effectively manage the aircraft’s systems and operations. The ECAM Control Panel consolidates data from various aircraft systems and presents it in an organized and concise manner, allowing pilots to monitor the aircraft’s performance and respond to any abnormal or emergency situations.

The ECAM Control Panel is designed to provide pilots with an intuitive interface that allows for quick and efficient access to important information. It consists of several dedicated buttons and displays, each serving a specific function. This advanced control panel has significantly improved the cockpit workflow and enhanced the overall safety and efficiency of Airbus A320 operations.

Functionality of the ECAM Control Panel

The ECAM Control Panel offers a wide range of functionalities that enable pilots to effectively manage the aircraft’s systems and respond to any abnormal or emergency situations. Let’s explore some of its key features:

1. System Status Displays and Alerts

The ECAM Control Panel provides pilots with real-time system status displays and alerts. It continuously monitors various aircraft systems, such as hydraulic, fuel, electrical, and engine systems, and displays the status and health of these systems on dedicated screens. This enables pilots to quickly identify any malfunctions or failures and take appropriate actions to mitigate the issue.

The ECAM Control Panel also generates audio and visual alerts when it detects critical system abnormalities or emergencies. These alerts are designed to grab the pilots’ attention and ensure immediate action, thereby enhancing the safety of the aircraft and its passengers.

2. System Control and Monitoring

With the ECAM Control Panel, pilots have the ability to control and monitor various aircraft systems. It allows them to adjust settings, activate or deactivate specific systems, and monitor performance parameters in real-time. The control buttons on the panel enable pilots to interact with the aircraft systems quickly and efficiently, allowing for effective management of the aircraft during normal and emergency operations.

For example, if a pilot notices abnormal engine parameters, they can use the ECAM Control Panel to adjust throttle settings, initiate engine tests, or trigger procedures to address the issue. The panel provides a convenient interface to navigate through various system displays and menus, streamlining the pilot’s workflow and decision-making process.

Enhancements in ECAM Control Panel

Over the years, Airbus has made significant enhancements to the ECAM Control Panel, incorporating technological advancements and feedback from pilots. These enhancements have further improved the efficiency, accuracy, and usability of the ECAM Control Panel. Here are some notable improvements:

1. Color Displays

Early versions of the ECAM Control Panel featured monochrome displays, which limited the visual clarity and ease of interpretation. However, Airbus introduced color displays in later versions, allowing for enhanced visibility and efficient information processing. The use of color coding enables pilots to quickly differentiate between normal, abnormal, and emergency system statuses, aiding in rapid decision-making.

For example, if an engine exceeds certain parameters, a color-coded indicator will immediately catch the attention of the pilots. They can then refer to the corresponding color scheme guideline to understand the severity and required actions associated with the specific engine indication.

2. Simplified User Interface

Airbus has also focused on improving the user interface of the ECAM Control Panel. The placement of buttons, the organization of displays, and the logical flow of information have all been optimized for ease of use. The user interface now incorporates intuitive icons, clearer labels, and streamlined navigation, reducing the cognitive workload on pilots during critical phases of flight.

The simplified user interface enables pilots to quickly locate the required information and perform necessary actions without unnecessary distractions or confusion. This streamlines their decision-making process, allowing them to respond promptly to any abnormal or emergency situations.

3. Integrated System Diagnostics

The modern ECAM Control Panel includes integrated system diagnostics, which provide pilots with valuable insights into the root causes of system malfunctions or failures. These diagnostics enable pilots to identify the underlying issues and take appropriate actions to rectify them. The system diagnostics feature assists in troubleshooting and reduces the reliance on external technical support, ultimately minimizing delays and maintenance costs.

Furthermore, the ECAM Control Panel can log the occurrence of specific events and faults, allowing maintenance crews to analyze the data and perform necessary inspections or repairs efficiently. This proactive maintenance approach maximizes the aircraft’s availability and ensures optimal operational performance.


The ECAM Control Panel plays a vital role in the cockpit of the Airbus A320 aircraft. Its intuitive interface, comprehensive system displays, and efficient control functionalities empower pilots to effectively manage and respond to various situations. The continuous enhancements made by Airbus have improved the overall safety, efficiency, and user experience of the ECAM Control Panel, making it an indispensable tool for modern aircraft operations.

For More: What is MN on Airbus A320? (Mach Number)