Publication of reports comparing Air Traffic Management performance in Europe and the U.S.

8 April 2019

The U.S. and Europe are broadly comparable in terms of the number of flights and their geographic area. However, they have fundamentally different ATM systems, unified in the U.S. and fragmented in Europe. A comparison of their performance is extremely useful.

The two reports released today have been prepared under the Memorandum of Cooperation between the US and the European Union by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and EUROCONTROL on behalf of the European Commission. The first, a joint production with the FAA, provides a detailed comparison of operational performance, covering the period up to 2017. The second report considers cost-efficiency trends and focuses on the period 2006-2016.

Henrik Hololei, Director--General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, commented “The fragmentation of the European ATM system is still a cause of inefficiency. Although the progress in many areas is encouraging, there is still a great deal to be done to make sure that air passengers in Europe receive the levels of performance they deserve. Today’s reports are again proof of the excellent cooperation Europe and the US have on ATM operational performance and allows us to share best practice which is to the benefit of both sides of the Atlantic. ”

Eamonn Brennan, the Director General of EUROCONTROL, said “The U.S. handles over 50% more flight hours than Europe while Europe has over 50% more staff than the U.S. These reports not only highlight the big issues, such the impact of fragmentation, they also provide a remarkably detailed insight into a vast range of areas, such as taxi-out times, horizontal route efficiency and continuous descent operations. With the dramatic increase in en-route delays in 2018, capacity has to be our primary focus this summer. But we must not lose sight of how Europe is performing across a full range of measures.”

Learn more in the full reports

2017 Comparison of air traffic management -related operational performance in: U.S. Europe DOWNLOAD
2006-2016 U.S. - Europe continental comparison of ANS cost-efficiency trends DOWNLOAD


Performance Review Unit (PRU)

We are responsible for monitoring and reviewing the performance of the European Air Navigation Services (ANS) System in support of the Performance Review Commission (PRC).

Press Office

Rue de la Fusée 96
1130 Brussels
+32 2 729 51 51