Long-term Forecast of Annual Numbers of IFR Flights up to 2050

Challenges of growth 2013 - Task 7

This report presents the EUROCONTROL Long-Term Forecast of IFR traffic in Europe to 2050. 

When confronted with today’s challenges, with shortterm financial pressures, or even with the challenges of 2035, 2050 may seem like too far away to need to plan for. However, decisions we make today - for policy, infrastructure, concepts and technology - can strongly improve or reduce our ability to respond as the challenges of 2050 come more sharply into focus.

This report presents the first EUROCONTROL forecast of IFR flight movements in Europe up to 2050. It focuses on developments after 2035; traffic evolution between now and 2035 is discussed in our February 2013 and June 2013 forecasts.

Previously STATFOR has met ad-hoc requests for 2050 projections by extrapolating trends from the later years of the existing long term forecast. The 2050 horizon has been specifically requested for Challenges of Growth 2013 (CG13), and we evolve the methodology by specifically considering the drivers between 2035 and 2050.

The 2050 forecast does not aim at providing the exact future traffic counts, but focuses rather on understanding the factors that will form the future air traffic and the challenges that lie ahead. The range of likely outcomes presented in the scenarios should contribute to planning and managing risk, and help cope with uncertainty and the potential impact of changes in underlying assumptions.


Challenges of Growth - Task 7 - European Air Traffic in 2050