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Ready as traffic starts to recover: EUROCONTROL NM publishes Network Recovery Plan

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While over a million flights fewer have operated across the European network compared with 2019 since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe, air traffic is now slowly starting to pick up.

After hitting rock bottom on 12 April 2020 with just 2,099 flights operated across the network, the network started to show some positive movement upwards starting from week 17 (20-26 April).

As the recovery slowly started, on 30 April, the first edition of the NOP 2020 Recovery Plan was published. The publication of the first edition of the Plan, which covers a rolling four-week period, marked an important step towards putting European aviation back in the air once more. The Plan, which is updated by the EUROCONTROL Network Manager on a weekly basis, consolidates data from around 350 airlines, 68 area control centres (ACCs), 55 airports and 43 State.

Network Recovery Plan

Helping European aviation go back in the air once more.

The Plan reflects a huge coordination effort by the NM and its partners to ensure capacity is available at ACCs and in the airspace they manage, and on the ground at airports, to meet the expected traffic demand from the airlines on each day of the next four weeks. In parallel, the NM factors in a variety of actions designed to maximise network efficiency and help the NM and its operational stakeholders meet their goal of close to zero ATFM delays across the network, as well as efficient and green trajectories. This includes working closely with State Focal Points to coordinate national requirements, already enabling more than 20% of airspace restrictions to be removed.

At a time of continued uncertainty, the NOP 2020 Recovery Plan is a vital coordination initiative that anticipates what needs to be done to get aviation flying again, providing aviation’s key actors with the global view they need in order to plan effectively.

The Plan will be issued every Friday, and reviewed by video conference every Monday by operational stakeholders in the Ad hoc Enlarged NDOP Recovery Cell, a body that brings Europe’s Network ANSPs, airports, airlines and military Directors of Operations together  to enhance performance and tackle issues on a network basis.

By partnering for recovery early, the NM aims to ensure a safe and smooth recovery phase for all operational stakeholders, enabling network actors to ramp up progressively activities as traffic returns.

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