How airports benefit from network integration

ATFM delays due to airports accounted for 37% of total ATFM delays in 2011. There were 6.6 million minutes of airport delay in 2011, a reduction of 19% over 2010.

One of the prime reasons for airport delay, on a daily basis, is due to traffic demand that exceeds the agreed capacity of an airport, as well as poor ATFM slot adherence.

The figures show how important it is to fully integrate the airports into the ATM network. Europe’s ATM Network Manager is now in a position to oversee the full integration of capacity planning, civil-military cooperation, airspace structure design and management, airport operations and flow and capacity management into a fully coordinated network approach.

Here are some examples of the procedures which the Network Manager, in full coordination with ANSPs, has put in place to reduce airport delays.

Airport slots & flight plan

Better matching airport slots and flight plan data

In previous years, Greek airports, 19 holiday destinations in particular, faced huge delays. 

In close cooperation with the Hellenic CAA, the Hellenic ANSP (Flow Management), the Greek airport slot coordinator, and the Airline Operators Associations IACA and IATA, the Network Manager set up a procedure to significantly reduce arrival delays.

The procedure was trialled for two months and is operational since 10 July 2012.

The first results are positive: compared with summer 2010 when Greece registered the same traffic levels, arrival delays to the Greek islands have been reduced by 75% in the period from 30 April until 31 July 2012.

The objectives of the procedure are two-fold:

  1. improve the planning process by making sure that capacity rates are correct and that the airport slots provided to the aircraft operators are in line with them
  2. improve pre-tactical and tactical operations by making sure that aircraft operators file their flight plans according to those airport slots.

For more information, contact Christian Faber, ATFCM expert or Matthis Birenheide, Senior expert airports operations.

Remove before flight

(Possibly) remove before flight – the manual suspension of flights without airport slots

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) have adopted on a permanent basis the LIPZ airport slot compliance procedure that was introduced with success in Summer 2011 to mitigate the impact of Treviso airport’s closure on Venice airport.

The legal basis for the handling of airport slots is regulation (EC) No 793/2004 amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 95/93 on common rules for the allocation of slots at Community airports published in April 2004 by the European Commission. Article 14 (1) of the regulation says:‘An air carrier's flight plan may be rejected by the competent Air Traffic Management authorities if the air carrier intends to land or take off at a coordinated airport, during the periods for which it is coordinated, without having a slot allocated by the coordinator.’

The Air Navigation Service Provider (ENAV) is empowered to suspend non-compliant flights. It is expected that manual suspensions will only be requested during the Summer 2012 period (1 June - 30 September).

The Aircraft Operator may be advised by ENAV of the ‘no slot’ situation for the filed flight plan and asked to ensure that an airport slot is allocated by the Airport Slot Coordinator or to cancel the flight plan.

This procedure is only applicable to general aviation. The responsibility for identifying individual flights lies entirely with ENAV and ENAC.

Getting the time right