EUROCONTROL’s Performance Review Commission publishes its report on European Air Traffic Management performance in 2021

PRR 2021 report cover promo

The independent Performance Review Commission (PRC) of EUROCONTROL has published its Performance Review Report (PRR) for 2021, looking at the impact of the second year of the pandemic on the European ANS system.

The relaxation of travel restrictions in many European states resulted in a continuous increase in demand, particularly in the second half of the year. Traffic in 2021, at just over half the level of 2019, was 25% up on 2020.

Following the operational performance improvements in all areas in 2020, there were early indications of rising inefficiency and delay levels in 2021 – despite traffic levels still being well below 2019.

“The report shows that some ANSPs and airports did not deploy as much capacity as they had been able to before the COVID pandemic. This is worrying and highlights a need for action to avoid unnecessary delays.”

Marinus de Jong Chairman, Performance Review Commission

With most costs relatively fixed in the short term, the immediate measures taken by European ANSPs following the outbreak of the pandemic reduced costs by an estimated 5.2% in 2020 (latest available data). This was not sufficient, however, to compensate for the unprecedented reduction in revenues from route charges. ANSPs’ reserves and liquidities fell significantly and their levels of debt rose. The financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis will lead to higher charges in the coming years – to be borne by airspace users and, ultimately, passengers.

“Despite the continued recovery from the pandemic, the situation will remain challenging for the industry, with continuing pressure on ANSPs to find the right level of operations and costs during the recovery phase while at the same time preparing for the future in terms of capacity provision, technological transformation and environmental sustainability.”

Marinus de Jong added

Read the full Performance Review Report 2021

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