ATM Modernization, Business & GA, Commercial

Eurocontrol: European Air Traffic Sees Uptick as Routes Shift

By Juliet Van Wagenen | June 3, 2015
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Eurocontrol Network Manager Operations Centre de Bruxelles
Eurocontrol Network Manager Operations Centre de Bruxelles. Photo: Eurocontrol

[Avionics Today 06-03-2015] Eurocontrol’s independent Performance Review Commission (PRC) has published a report on how Europe’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) system performed in 2014. Overall, safety levels in Europe remain high, yet there is room for improvement, particularly related to the reporting of incidents.

After the decrease in flights in the past two years, traffic increased again by 1.7 percent in 2014 with a positive medium-term outlook, according to the report. “Traffic in Europe was affected by a number of events in 2014, most notably the tragic loss of MH17 in Ukraine, which resulted in significant shifts of traffic flows. In some states, traffic increased far beyond forecast levels but, thanks to the effort of the air navigation service providers, the unforeseen demand could be accommodated without significant delay,” said Ralph Riedle, PRC chairman.

En-route Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) delays in the Eurocontrol area increased again slightly to 0.61 minutes per flight in 2014, after the best year on record in 2013. “Some area control centers do not provide sufficient capacity and, in view of the considerable lead times, more focus needs to be placed on capacity planning and deployment so as to avoid significant disruptions in the future,” added Riedle.

On a pan-European level, Air Navigation Services (ANS) cost-efficiency performance improved in 2013, the latest year for which actual cost data is available. Compared with 2012, real en-route cost per service unit decreased by 3.3 percent and terminal unit costs by 3.6 percent.

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