European air traffic management (ATM) leaders have underlined how measures to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of air transport throughout the region have helped optimise airspace capacity and improve environmental performance during the busiest summer on record.

Innovation and collaboration in Europe’s ATM industry have helped tackle unprecedented levels of air traffic and improve the industry’s environmental performance according to EUROCONTROL and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO).

Success was attributed to air navigation service providers (ANSPs) working more closely to re-distribute traffic; taking a more Europe-wide rather than national approach to managing traffic; and gaining access to airspace normally reserved for military use.

CANSO launhced its 2035 Vision in June this year to highlight the active role that ANSPs play as key industrial partners in addressing the capacity and environmental challenges the European aviation sector is facing. The association’s members have also published a series of unique insights into the specific measures being taken by ANSPs to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of air transport.

“CANSO and its members are vital partners in the European aviation value chain and have made a significant contribution to maintaining capacity, reducing delays and minimising emission in the region’s air transport network this summer,” said Ms. Grobotek, CANSO director European affairs. “CANSO will continue to be committed to delivering strong Europe-wide performance while also addressing the challenge of the environmental impact of aviation and implementing the newest technologies.”

Over the months of June, July and August, there were 3.2 million flights in the EUROCONTROL network, up 0.9% on last year. This is an average of nearly 35,000 flights a day, with peaks of over 37,000.

“With 37,000 flights on peak days, network delays have improved by 10% this year thanks in part to the collaborative work between EUROCONTROL Network Manager and the membership of CANSO,” said Eammon Brennan, director general of EUROCONTROL. However, he also warned that there is still “much work to do to return to the performance levels of 2017,” citing the need for structural reforms and the need to reform the way business is conducted in order to achieve this.

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