A dramatic drop in traffic levels in 2020 was followed by a faster than expected recovery to prepandemic levels in 2022 in some areas, and slower recovery in others. In the years to come increased volatility is to be expected. Previous challenges, such as capacity shortages, have returned, as well as new ones related to a loss of experienced personnel. This combined with recruitment and training challenges creates a significant risk to operational resilience, capacity provision and also the ability of the industry to innovate.
If there is anything that should be learnt from the past three years then it is the importance of resilience and flexibility. The industry must be capable of both ramping up and ramping down, while continuing to become more environmentally friendly and remaining socially sustainable. This resilience and flexibility can in part be achieved through an elastic cost base, which can be ramped up or down depending on traffic demand.
The Airspace Architecture study set out a vision for the future where operations are decoupled from geographic locations, based on common standards and architecture, thus resulting in resilience and flexibility in operation as well as cost. Although the industry is making progress and working towards 30 Insight this vision it is still some way off. In this article we provide Egis' views on practical steps that air navigation service providers (ANSPs) can make today to achieve improvements in the short-term, driving flexibility and resilience for the future.
Opportunities to improve cost-base elasticity exist across all cost-base elements: from staff costs, non-staff costs, and capital investment provisions. This opens up a range of options for ANSPs to consider that can make a real difference in the short term.