2022 was yet another complicated year for aviation. While recovery has been strong – just under 90% of 2019, and in some parts of the network traffic was higher than in 2019 - volatility and complexity remained.
The welcomed recovery was stifled by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, whose impact on aviation continues to be significant. The increased traffic has to be squeezed into less than 80% of normally available airspace. In the rest of Europe, we saw an increase in ATFM delays due to ATC capacity shortages happening simultaneously with several major ATM systems upgrades at major ACCs.
Throughout 2022, the Network Manager and operational stakeholders combined their efforts to support Ukrainian aviation and keep operations manageable and help prevent blockages across the network. The NMB made strategic decisions to support the operations, network development and improve performance – for example the High-Level Network CONOPS 2029 - providing a high-level target of the activities towards the implementation of the Network Strategy Plan.
Throughout the year, the NM and governing bodies worked on various axes to improve and maintain the European Network:
- Extensive preparations for summer 2022, including through the Netowrk Operaions Plan (NOP) 2022-2026 and the weekly Rolling NOP;
- Good network co-operation for major ATM systems changes, with lessons learned for the future;
- CNS Network Infrastructure activities, including management of common services, monitoring of key European infrastructures, and preparation of future infrastructure;
- Co-operative decision-making, which proved essential to make sound decisions for the network;
- Continuation of NM's flagship business improvement initiatives, including the Airspace Re-structuring programme and the Operational Excellence programme;
- Progress on the integrated Network Manager (iNM) project, designed to move NM's legacy systems towards digital products.