FABEC pulls World ATM Congress stand

The air traffic control agencies of the busiest and most complex airspace in the world have decided to pull their group stand at the World ATM Congress, which will be held in Madrid next week between March 4-6.

The six agencies of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland which together form the FABEC Functional Airspace Block will all be in attendance as individual organisations but are citing economic conditions for the decision not to have a combined stand at the show.

The news will come as a blow to organisers of the show which was billed by the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation and its US counterpart ATCA at its launch last year as ‘organised for the industry, by the industry’.

Confirming the decision, FABEC spokesman Roland Beran said:”The contract with the event organiser has been terminated. The World ATM Congress is a meeting place for everyone from the industry and, of course, an important platform for communication but in light of the tight financial situation, we have consciously made the decision to set clear priorities. Implementing upcoming airspace projects is a very demanding undertaking that we want to fully focus on.”

FABEC members which collectively manage 55 per cent of European air traffic will instead team up with Europe’s Network Manager Eurocontrol at the event to launch a dialogue on the performance of European ATM. Xavier Fron, performance coordinator at Eurocontrol, Christoph Czech, chairman of FABEC’s Performance Management Group will discuss this on Wednesday 5 March at the Spotlight Stage Theatre at the Madrid IFEMA venue.

FABEC notes that last year saw a 1.1 per cent decrease in traffic. Air traffic controllers handled 5,431,800 flights (2012: 5,493,300) – a figure which is below the traffic controlled in 2006. With this result, the 2013 traffic volume flying through the FABEC region was 10.2 per cent – or 618,000 fewer flights which is more or less the average number of flights handled by a single area control centre in Europe – below the traffic forecast in the FABEC Performance Plan agreed in June 2011.

World ATM Congress organisers meanwhile reported record pre-registration levels on February 26.

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