Ryanair today (15 Apr) welcomed the publication of the 10 recommendations from the European Commission Wise Persons Group on European Air Traffic Control reform. The initiative aims to reduce increasing delays to consumers by taking a central network management approach under Eurocontrol and implementing capacity contracts with national ATC providers.
Ryanair supports other recommendations by the European Commission Wise Persons Group such as the implementation of a digital European Sky based on an agreed roadmap that would ensure resilience of the system; or the establishment of an independent and technically competent economic regulator at a European level.
Europe suffered 19.1 million minutes of ATC delays in 2018 (+105% on 2017), of which 60% were caused by ATC staff shortages and 15% due to ATC strikes. Eurocontrol estimates delays to double again in 2019 to 38 million minutes if no action is taken. These recommendations offer some hope of ending the chaos of European ATC delays.
Ryanair calls on the European Commission and National Governments to quickly confirm a set of new regulations to implement the recommendations published today.
The Single Market in aviation is the best thing the EU has done for its citizens but aviation will go backwards unless ATC is reformed. Airlines are doing everything possible to protect their passengers from another year of record delays and cancellations due to the ATC crisis in Europe.
Ryanair’s Chief Operations Officer, Peter Bellew said:
“We look forward to the European Commission immediately implementing these practical recommendations. European ATC staffing is in crisis. Consumers have suffered a 30% increase in ATC delays in the first quarter of 2019. The current ATC system in Europe is broken. Europe needs to take real control of its airspace which is split across national boundaries. The time to act is now to end the ATC crisis.”