article

European ATM – Everything is changing

Posted: 10 June 2011 | Bo Redeborn, Principal Director of Air Traffic Management at Eurocontrol | No comments yet

Europe’s civil air transport industry will face tougher performance levels when the Single European Sky (SES) II performance scheme, set by the European Commission, is introduced in 2012. Although exempted from the first (three year) reporting period, ground operations will eventually see safety, efficiency and environmental targets applied, with airports considered an integral and vital part of the system.
Traffic growth is back

As IATA reported at the end of last year, global passenger traffic was 2% above pre-recession levels of early 2008 with global international cargo traffic 3% above the pre-recession levels. These figures must be considered alongside those published by the airports themselves, and which show overall passenger traffic at European airports increased by 5.3% in February 2011 compared with February 2010. The overall figure for movements at European airports increased 3.6% in February 2011 when compared with February 2010.

Europe’s civil air transport industry will face tougher performance levels when the Single European Sky (SES) II performance scheme, set by the European Commission, is introduced in 2012. Although exempted from the first (three year) reporting period, ground operations will eventually see safety, efficiency and environmental targets applied, with airports considered an integral and vital part of the system. Traffic growth is backAs IATA reported at the end of last year, global passenger traffic was 2% above pre-recession levels of early 2008 with global international cargo traffic 3% above the pre-recession levels. These figures must be considered alongside those published by the airports themselves, and which show overall passenger traffic at European airports increased by 5.3% in February 2011 compared with February 2010. The overall figure for movements at European airports increased 3.6% in February 2011 when compared with February 2010.

Europe’s civil air transport industry will face tougher performance levels when the Single European Sky (SES) II performance scheme, set by the European Commission, is introduced in 2012. Although exempted from the first (three year) reporting period, ground operations will eventually see safety, efficiency and environmental targets applied, with airports considered an integral and vital part of the system.

Traffic growth is back

As IATA reported at the end of last year, global passenger traffic was 2% above pre-recession levels of early 2008 with global international cargo traffic 3% above the pre-recession levels. These figures must be considered alongside those published by the airports themselves, and which show overall passenger traffic at European airports increased by 5.3% in February 2011 compared with February 2010. The overall figure for movements at European airports increased 3.6% in February 2011 when compared with February 2010.

Whilst these are very encouraging figures, one must bear in mind that EUROCONTROL forecasts indicate that IFR movements in the ESRA1 area will increase to 11.6 million in 2017, 22% more than in 2010! This means there will be a major challenge in dealing with these increased traffic levels, whilst simultaneously working to reduce delay and improve efficiency.

Need for improved efficiency and performance

Even as the global economy returns to growth, we can expect the current focus on efficiency to continue – not least because of rising oil prices. In addition, growing environmental pressures can only increase the demand for improved performance. This is why EUROCONTROL has welcomed the performance framework set by the second Single European Sky package, which will eventually force performance targets on all operational business partners. I am firmly convinced that this framework will help to drive considerable improvement in the network. Whilst far from being a magic wand, the tools we now have at our disposal, such as the Implementing Rules, will enable us to play our part in the enhancement of the European Air Traffic Management Network.

SESAR – What the future holds

One airport related element of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme has been designed to continuously monitor key aspects of airport operations against pre-agreed service level targets. This will ensure that all stakeholders have a common understanding of precisely what they need to do to ensure that the overall operational performance level reaches the agreed targets. In cases where this performance may not be met, action in response to the situation will be initiated to ensure the agreed service levels are maintained and, in cases where this is not possible, to provide timely notification to all stakeholders likely to be affected.

The efficient utilisation of the airport resources will be enabled by airport planning and management processes, including improved communication. These processes will be supported by the Airport Operations Plan (AOP) which provides the common situational awareness of the airport status for stakeholders. The objective is that all decisions will be taken on the basis of the best information available and, where practicable, taking all stakeholder requirements into account. Eurocontrol has over a decade of activities geared towards the airport industry. It is evident to me that airport operations are a vital and integral part of the Network. The days when we looked at enhancing en-route performance in isolation from airport performance, or trying to deal with en-route delays separately from airport delays are gone – they are inexorably linked; an enhanced and flexible service can only be delivered when we deal with these issues from a network perspective.

Like any other business partner, airports are affected by the continuous downward pressure on budgets. However, they also need to keep investing for the future. Economies will recover, so will demand for air services. Despite the crisis, experts still expect Europe to face an airport capacity crunch by 2030 – so investing in future capacity must remain a priority.

Reference

1. EUROCONTROL Statistical Reference Area (ESRA) is designed to include as much as possible of the ECAC area for which data are available from a range of sources within the Agency. It is used for high-level reports from the Agency, when referring to ‘total Europe’.

 

About the Author

Bo Redeborn started his training as an Air Traffic Controller at the Swedish ATS Academy in 1972 and was subsequently employed by the Swedish Civil Aviation Authority. In the 1980s he spent six years as an ATCO in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on an ICAO Technical Assistance mission, then returned to the CAA and took up managerial functions with increasing responsibility. He joined EUROCONTROL in February 2004 as Director ATM Strategies and was appointed to his current position as Principal Director ATM on 1st January 2011. He is responsible for overseeing the organisation’s ATM policy and development and for managing high level strategic relations with key ATM partners. He also heads the Directorate of SESAR and Research which encompasses the activities delivering EUROCONTROL’s contribution to the SESAR Joint Undertaking Work Programme.

Send this to a friend