Frequently Asked Questions

Does STATFOR produce statistics on IFR flights only?

STATFOR produces statistics and forecasts on GAT (General Aviation Traffic) IFR (Instrument flight rules) flights. GAT traffic incorporates civil and military flights following civil rules i.e. no operational military air traffic is taken into consideration.

How are the regions defined?

A description of these regions is shown in the table below. The Long-Term and Medium-Term Forecast Reports covers traffic flows that are described as being to or from one of a number of regions as follows (States are indicated in the table for brevity by the first letters of the ICAO location codes).

STATFOR regions have been updated in August 2012. Click on the image for an enlarged view.


STATFOR regions

Is there a uniform glossary of terms on air transport statistics and forecasting?

Yes. STATFOR has developed a Glossary for Flight Statistics and Forecasts.

What are the FAB (Functional Airspace Blocks)?

A functional airspace block is an airspace block based on operational requirements and established regardless of State boundaries, in which the provision of air navigation services and related ancillary functions are optimised and/or integrated.

FAB definitions are constantly evolving according to the targets defined to improve the performance of the European air traffic management network. Latest developments include the following:
• UK-Ireland FAB
• Danish-Swedish FAB, now out of North European FAB
• Baltic FAB (Lithuania, Poland)
• BLUE MED FAB (Albania, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta), now excludes Tunisia and Egypt
• Danube FAB (Bulgaria, Romania)
• FAB CE (Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovak Republic, Slovenia)
• FABEC (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland)
• North European FAB (Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Norway)
• South West FAB (Portugal [Santa Maria FIR excluded], Spain).

The FAB definitions have been updated in August 2012 along with the new definitions stipulated by the European Commission (see Current phase in the process of establishing FABs).

FAB Europe

What data sources are used by STATFOR in producing statistics and forecasts?

The primary source for traffic information is the Network Management data. We complement this data with other information received directly from the Air Navigation Services Providers (ANSP) of the countries that are not part of the NM, and we also enrich the data with information resulting from the merge with CRCO data.

For other type of data rather then traffic data (economic, population, passenger...) we use many different sources: EUROSTAT, Oxford Economics, UN, IATA…

You can find more information here under the Data sources tab

What is meant by departures, arrivals, internals and overflights as presented in DAIO?

For a given country or area, departures and arrivals shall be understood as international departures/arrivals, i.e. respectively going to or departing from a foreign country. Internals are sometimes referred to as domestics. Overflights are flights for which both departure and arrival aerodromes are outside the country considered. This breakdown ensures that no multiple counting is performed. The totals in DAIO tables are the sum of departures, arrivals, internals and overflights.

What is meant by traffic segments? How are they defined?

We are always monitoring the European air traffic market to identify specific trends that can affect our forecasts and that are worth a separate analysis. To allow a consistent approach to these studies we created a traffic market segmentation that classifies the traffic in: Traditional Scheduled, Low-Cost, Business Aviation, Cargo, Charter, Military and Other.

This classification is based on a set of rules that use a mixture of operator, aircraft type and route information to determine the corresponding category. These rules are detailed in the document Market Segment Rules.

Rules for the Business Aviation, Low-Cost and All-Cargo segments were updated in 2016.

A description of the market segments is available on the SID (xls)

What is meant by ‘Deflated Ticket Prices’ as presented in the Industry Monitor?

For a detailed explanation please refer to our "Explanation of the Industry Monitor graph: Deflated ticket prices in Europe" document.

What is the ESRA (EUROCONTROL Statistical Reference Area)?

The EUROCONTROL Statistical Reference Area (ESRA), is designed to include as much as possible of the ECAC area for which data are available from a range of sources within the Agency (CRCO, CFMU and STATFOR). It is used for high-level reports from the Agency, when referring to 'total Europe'. The ESRA will change only slowly with time; a region will be added to the ESRA only when there is a full year's data from all sources, so that growth calculations are possible. The current ESRA is really 'ESRA 2008'.

What is the SES area (Single European Sky area)?

The Single European Sky (SES) is an ambitious initiative, launched by the European Commission in 1999, to reform the architecture of European air traffic management (ATM).

It puts forward a legislative approach to meet future capacity and safety needs at a European rather than at local level. The European Commission has mandated EUROCONTROL to develop implementing rules for the implementation of the Single European Sky. Each rule is prepared in close consultation with Member States and aviation stakeholders.

EUROCONTROL is also at the forefront of research on the future air traffic management system through its work in the Single European Sky ATM Research Programme (SESAR), the technological dimension of the Single European Sky.

The regions of 'SES area' are illustrated in this map. In agreement with the SESAR Joint Undertaking, the oceanic airspace is not included in the STATFOR definition of the SES area.


States within SES-RP2 Region (Performance Scheme Region for the Second Review Period).

The SES-RP2 area is covering the 30 states that are involved in the EU-wide performance target setting for the second period, namely: 28 EU member states plus Norway plus Switzerland. This zone is also called RP2Region in the STATFOR reports.


Why are some states grouped and others split?

The decision to group two, or more, states in a single Traffic Zone can be determined either by a strategic decision or by constraints imposed by the fact that it does not exist a separate defined airspace, or we do not receive information about it, for a specific country (e.g. Luxembourg).

The decision to split countries in one or more Traffic Zones is mainly derived by the fact that the country in question will have two or more distinct traffic patterns, as it is the case for Portugal and Spain with a distinct configuration for Continental or Oceanic traffic, and they should be analysed separately.

In any case, these decisions are always previously discussed with the respective National Authority.