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More traffic, increased punctuality: positive traffic balance in the first half of 2019

Skyguide, Switzerland’s air navigation service provider (ANSP), operated and monitored 631’424 civil instrument flight rules (IFR) flights in the first six months of 2019, a 2.8% increase on the same period last year. Despite the steady traffic increase, skyguide achieved an excellent operating performance in the first half of 2019. 97.2% of all flights were handled without delay by air traffic control in Europe's most complex airspace.

More flights handled

The amount of flights handled by skyguide increased by about 3% month-on-month, in the first half of 2019. The biggest increase was recorded in February, with 3.6%. The growth recorded in the first half of the year is higher than the European average (ECAC countries, +1.7%), Eurocontrol’s measures of summer 2019, aimed at reducing delays in overloaded ACCs in Germany, France and Austria, are routing a certain amount of traffic through Switzerland.

 

Eurocontrol’s STATFOR-sourced statistics reveal strong variations between traffic categories within the airspace managed by skyguide in the first half of 2019. These variations are in line with those observed at the ECAC level, except for the all-cargo segment, which records the highest growth of all market segments within Switzerland

(-5.3% on the ECAC level).

 

First-half flight movement trends by category (airspace managed by skyguide)

 

The en-route traffic handled in the first half of 2019 rose by 4.8%, an increase of 0.7% over the same period last year. The number of movements (takeoffs and landings) controlled throughout Switzerland, on the other hand, has decreased (-0.8%). Zurich airport records a rise of 1.2% in IFR movements, whereas Geneva airport records a small decrease (-0.2%). The traffic handled at Switzerland’s regional airports shows a large decrease (-17.3%), due to SkyWorks ceasing operations in Bern-Belp at the end of August 2018.

 

Skyguide’s Geneva and Dübendorf area control centres (ACCs) are both increasing, with +2.7% and +2.6% respectively.

 

Skyguide’s busiest day to date in the first half of 2019 was Friday 28 June, when a total of 4,522 flights were handled.

2019 first-half movements by area control centre and airport:

Higher traffic volumes and higher punctuality

Despite the higher amount of traffic, skyguide maintained an excellent operating performance in the first half of 2019. 97.2% of all flights were handled without delay.

 

Most capacity-related air traffic control delays are incurred during peak periods. En-route delay per flight during the first six months of 2019 decreased by 60.4% year-on-year. 45.8% of this delay is attributable to weather conditions. 46.5% of the delay is attributable to traffic loads that were much higher than traffic forecasts, resulting in a lack of capacity on the one hand, and insufficient staffing on the other. 7.4% of the delay is due to staff illness.