The International Air Transport Association is calling on the governments and air navigation service providers of Europe to address the region's airspace bottlenecks.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is calling on the governments and air navigation service providers of Europe to address the region's airspace bottlenecks, as new data reveal that delays this year have more than doubled compared to 2017.
Data from Eurocontrol show that, in the first half of 2018, Air Traffic Management (ATM) delays more than doubled to 47,000 minutes per day, 133% more than in the same period last year. Most of these delays are caused by staffing and capacity shortages as well as other causes such as weather delays and disruptive events such as strikes.
The average delay for flights delayed by air traffic control limitations reached 20 minutes in July, with the longest delay reaching 337 minutes.
IATA observes that Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) have seen revenue increase as flight numbers have increased. Eurocontrol calculates that European ANSPs have made an average 9.6% EBIT in recent years.
According to IATA, key ANSPs in Europe have not made needed investments in their businesses, preferring instead to make “super-normal profits”; they have failed to make planned technology investments intended to increase capacity.
IATA is calling on the European Commission, Member States and ANSPs to take urgent action with the following four-point plan:
• Modernise infrastructure and implement the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR).
• Reform outdated work practices so that staff are deployed when they're required; and, where justified, recruit additional staff.
• Empower the European Network Manager to plan and configure the network to meet the demands of air travellers.
• Strengthen the Performance and Charging Scheme so that ANSPs not delivering agreed capacity are subject to meaningful penalties.