European Network Operations Plan 2021 - Summer plan

The European Network Operations Plan (NOP) – 2021 Summer Plan is a special version of the NOP focusing on the planning of the Summer. It provides for a consolidated European network view of the evolution of the air traffic and facilitates the planning of the service by ANSPs and airports to match expected traffic demand in a safe, efficient and coordinated manner. The European Network Operations Plan (NOP) – 2021 Summer Plan is developed by EUROCONTROL NM in cooperation with the operational stakeholders.

Summer 2021

Traffic forecast

For the preparation of the Summer 2021, a specific traffic forecast has been developed and shared with the operational stakeholders. This forecast is based on 2019 traffic, with 2020 routeings (no capacity constraints in the network, RAD relaxed) and the scenario 1 of the EUROCONTROL Five-Year Forecast 2020-2024. This represents 73% of 2019 traffic at European level, for everyday of the Summer Season. This forecast will be refined throughout the season with the Rolling Seasonal NOP process, where a six-week traffic traffic outlook will be updated and shared every week.

Enroute capacity outlook

Based on this traffic forecast, while no major capacity issues are expected in the network, some flexibility might be required to adapt capacity to the traffic demand. Some ANSPs should plan to open their currently indicated maximum opening scheme. Most ANSPs should have some flexibility on configuration choices and on the opening of an extra sector for short periods of time during the day to cover traffic peaks. Special attention should be given to morning and evening, when opening hours might need to be extended. Some elementary sectors might start being saturated for short periods. Those situations can be handled pretactically/tactically with ATFCM measures such as scenarios or STAM. ANSPs should foresee a 10% buffer in the traffic outlook to avoid sudden capacity problems and possible weather issues. Sector openings should be refined throughout the Summer season based on the six-week traffic outlook that will continue to be published every week in the Rolling Seasonal NOP.

Airport outlook

Whilst summer 2021 traffic demand remains unclear, airports have reported they do not anticipate airside capacity issues and will be able to return to nominal operational conditions when traffic demand resumes. Nevertheless, Airports should be prepared in the event traffic follows the EUROCONTROL most optimistic forecast scenario with an accompanying passenger occupancy increase, potentially leading to land and airside capacity constraints during peak traffic periods. Airports are requested to continue to update the Airport Corner, including expected severe weather phenomena before D-1, to facilitate Network, Airline and Airport planning.

Green aviation measures

NM, together with the operational stakeholders, relaxed up to 1200 RAD measures. This generated distance flown savings amounting to 26000 NM per day. The RAD relaxation will continue until 17 June 2021 and the suspension of additional RAD restrictions in support of improved flight planning options for the airspace users will be envisaged.

Download the plan below.


European Network Operations Plan 2021 - Summer plan