The European Commission has received recommendations by high-level aviation experts on the future of air traffic management in Europe. The so-called “wise persons group” was set up by the Commission to consider recent developments in European aviation, listen to the views of major air traffic management stakeholders and produce proposals on the future direction of air traffic management in Europe in line with the objectives of the EU’s Aviation Strategy.
In 2018, there were over 11 million flights in the European network and delays per flight doubled compared to 2017. Forecasts predict that in Europe by 2040 1.5 million flights will not be accommodated due to capacity constraints meaning that 160 million passengers would not be able to fly. Delays are due to problems such as under-investment in some area control centres, which impact the entire network.
Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said: “Due to the growth of air traffic forecasts, we can expect further delays for air passengers too. That is unacceptable. We urgently need to deploy environmentally friendly solutions that allow for more flexibility, scalability and resilience. I am inviting member states, the European Parliament and the aviation community to consider the recommendations released today. We know what to do, now we need common and co-ordinated efforts to help make the European air traffic management system more efficient, flexible and sustainable in the future.”