Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) Annual Report 2012

Safe, efficient and innovative

EUROCONTROL’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) provides safe and effective air traffic management to one of Europe’s busiest airspace regions.

Not only is it a leading provider of air navigation services, it is also Europe’s first multinational, crossborder air navigation service provider. MUAC is uniquely positioned to provide sustainable air navigation services in a large airspace block, satisfying today’s customer expectations and the growing demands for the future.

In 2012, MUAC's quality of service was maintained at excellent levels: there was an average delay of 0.04 minutes or 99.7% of flights unimpeded.

Controller productivity also remained high, with 1.94 composite flight-hours per air traffic controller-hour. MUAC handled over 1.5 million flights in total but overall traffic in the MUAC area decreased by 1.2%.

The cost of maintaining high quality service provision rose by 9.4% in 2012 (following exceptionally low expenditure in 2011), giving a total cost per flight-hour of €261 - a 9.6% increase on 2011, but still well below target and well below the European average.

In the area of Safety, MUAC continued to perform well. The objective of achieving at least 80% in each of the identified Safety Management System (SMS) study areas was met and Severity A and B separation infringements stood at just half the ceiling that was defined in the Business Plan.

On the Environmental front, the implementation of free route airspace and continued use of direct routes at tactical level generated a total route extension reduction of over 7.3 million NM. This resulted in savings of  44,000 t of fuel and 147,000 t of CO2.

The extension of free route airspace and successful integration with neighbouring airspaces ensured that MUAC continued to make a substantial contribution to FABEC's airspace strategy of achieving greater operational efficiency. In February, the first test flight using the initial fourth dimension - time - transited MUAC airspace. This world first is a key element of the SESAR 4D trajectory management programme .

Numerous technical upgrades to Infrastructure ensured that safety, environmental and flight efficiency performance, along with capacity and cost-effectiveness, were all maintained at high levels. A productive working relationship with Staff Representatives underpinned the achievement of common objectives.

In addition, regular meetings on behalf of the Four States concerning the study of future institutional options for MUAC were held throughout the year.

Overall, MUAC has retained its market leadership in the core European area, a fact which is largely attributable to the hard work, commitment and professionalism of MUAC employees.

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Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) Annual Report 2012