Punctuality improves on stalled traffic growth

The punctuality of flights travelling through Europe’s most congested airspace region has reached record levels since 2006, despite a levelling off in air traffic growth.

The airspace region covering the six FABEC states of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland is one of the busiest and most complex in the world with most major European airports, major civil airways and military training areas are located in this area.

According to the latest FABEC capacity report containing 2012 data, over the last three years, the service quality provided by the seven FABEC air navigation service providers ANA (Luxembourg), Belgocontrol (Belgium), DFS (Germany), DSNA (France), LVNL (Netherlands), MUAC (Eurocontrol), and Skyguide (Switzerland) has improved continuously.

During this period, the en-route air traffic flow management delay per controlled flight decreased from 2.12 minutes in 2010 to 0.74 minutes in 2011 and then to 0.6 minutes in 2012. The total amount of delay minutes dropped from 11.34 million in 2010 to 4.13 million in 2011 to only 3.28 million in 2012. In 2012, only 3.11 per cent (2011: 4.14 percent) of all 5.493 million controlled flights (2011: 5.597 million) experienced delays. This reduction in delay during 2012 amounts to an estimated saving of €68.6 million when compared to delays in 2011.

“When assessing the data, we have mixed feelings. On the one hand, we are satisfied with the excellent results for punctuality. But on the other hand, we are concerned about the air traffic development. The duration of the stagnation leads to the question whether this development is based on the financial crisis only or whether we have to consider first signals of saturation and/or traffic redistribution to other areas in the world,” said Daniel Weder, FABEC chief. “In any case, we have to adapt our forecasts.”

FABEC airspace covers 1.7 million km² and handles about 5.5 million flights per year – 55 per cent of European air traffic. FABEC’s air navigation service providers employ 17,000 people and include the Belgian, Dutch, French, German and Swiss air forces.

Posted in Airlines, CAAs/ANSPs, News, Single European Sky

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