CONTENT PREVIEW
ATC

Pendulum swings back to airspace capacity

01 February 2019

Tools for seamless, safe, and efficient ATC are already available or under development within SESAR – but the challenge is to create a framework that encourages effective deployment

European traffic grew by more than 3.5% in 2018, in line with medium-term forecasts but with far more variation than anticipated in the routes flown by airspace users. Delays in upper airspace more than doubled in 2018, and in December the European Council called for short- and long-term solutions from the aviation industry.

The European Commission has invested EUR1.6 billion (USD1.8 billion) in research and development activity over the last decade to support the Single European Sky (SES) programme. Contributions made by industry and national governments raised overall spending to EUR3.8 billion to fund operational and procedural solutions for modernised airspace. The most recent performance review report (published in May 2018) highlighted a steady improvement in cost-efficiency and safety, while unit costs have fallen by a quarter since 2009 to EUR50.6 per service unit.

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