Skyguide Achieves Further Punctuality Record

Posted: 27 January 2011 | CANSO | No comments yet

Skyguide saw only a small 0.8% increase in the total number of flights it handled last year, which rose from the 1.15 million of 2009 to 1.16 million…

Skyguide saw only a small 0.8% increase in the total number of flights it handled last year, which rose from the 1.15 million of 2009 to 1.16 million. On the punctuality front, Switzerland’s air navigation service provider further improved its annual performance: 96% of all daily flight volumes were handled without delays.

Uneven traffic trends

The volumes of flights managed and monitored by skyguide were particularly low at the beginning of 2010 – the lowest, in fact, for six years. But apart from a clear dip in April as a result of the volcanic ash cloud, the numbers of flights handled rose steadily from February onwards, and by July there was an increase of 4.4% compared to the previous year. Traffic handled then suffered a further decline, and volumes for December – prompted in particular by the adverse weather experienced – were a slight 0.4% below their 2009 levels. The eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland and the resulting ash cloud eroded revenue which accounted for some one per cent of the total annual growth. Skyguide managed and monitored an average of 3 170 flights a day in 2010. The peak traffic day was 2 July, when 3 993 flights were handled.


Still no increase in en-route traffic

While skyguide handled 2.6% more landings and departures at the airports under its control in 2010 than it had the previous year, a further 0.2% decline was seen in its en-route traffic volumes. The two international airports of Zurich and Geneva registered volume increases of 2.7% and 1.7% respectively. A slight recovery was also seen in the total numbers of flights departing from or arriving in Switzerland. The same could not be said for skyguide’s en-route traffic. This generally developed in line with broader European trends, owing largely to various strikes outside Switzerland, adverse weather conditions and the repercussions of the volcanic ash cloud.

Punctuality at a new record high

Skyguide handled 96% of its daily traffic on time[2] in 2010. The performance was a further improvement on the previous year’s outstanding result of 95%. In en-route traffic, the punctuality even increased by 6% in comparison with 2009. The strong punctuality performance is attributable primarily to the reorganisation of airspace over Eastern Switzerland which skyguide effected in June 2010, as well as to weak traffic growth. By comparison, the levels of delayed flights in Europe as a whole were a 54% increase on 2009, a trend that can be ascribed largely to various strike actions and harsh weather conditions. A slight increase was seen in the average length of the delays incurred in skyguide-controlled airspace, from the 15.2 minutes of 2009 to 16.6 minutes per flight. This is, however, still well below the European average for 2010 of 24.4 minutes per flight (2009: 19.8 minutes).

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