Air traffic in Europe initially showed solid growth in 2019, before slowing in mid-summer and declining in the final quarter of the year. With an average of 3 575 flights per day, skyguide surpassed the previous record average of 2018 (3 558 flights). The peak day was June 28 with 4 522 flights. Skyguide handled just over 1.3 million IFR flights in 2019, which is a new record.
Proven civil-military partnership
The partnership with the Swiss Air Force in 2019 proved to be very pleasing. Skyguide achieved 99.5 % of the service level defined in its service agreement with the Swiss Air Force (average of all air force bases). The Air Defence and Direction Center (ADDC) at Dübendorf also achieved a service performance of 96.3%. Skyguide thus met the agreed Swiss Air Force’s performance objectives.
Skyguide’s military air traffic controllers accompanied 289 “live and hot missions” (air police missions and serious interventions) and 2 020 tactical operations last year. In 2019, skyguide accompanied a total of 94 519 military aircraft movements.
Skyguide also provided the full range of air navigation services expected at the civil regional airports.
Weak traffic growth in Switzerland
Eurocontrol had forecast growth rates for 2019 of +5.6% for Zurich upper airspace, +2.5% for Zurich lower airspace, +5% for Geneva upper airspace and +0.3% for Geneva lower airspace. In fact, growth in Switzerland in 2019 was only weak. It recorded an increase of 1.1% in the upper airspace and 0.2% in the lower airspace of Geneva. Growth in Zurich airspace in 2019 fell by 0.1% in upper airspace and increased by 0.1% in lower airspace. The decline in the second half of the year was particularly marked in the Zurich area control centre, with a decrease of
-3.4%. However, this should be seen against the background of the very high growth rates in 2018.
The number of arrivals and departures at the airports fell by 0.8%. The traffic volume of the Swiss national airports fell in Geneva by 0.6 % and in Zurich by
Instrument flight rules flights handled in 2019:
2019 2018 Change
Instrument flights 1 304 910 1 298 754 +0,5%
of which transit 822 313 808 445 +1,7%
High overall punctuality of air traffic control
Skyguide received ambitious performance targets from the European Commission in the area of punctuality. Despite the large number of flights handled, skyguide was able to report a slight improvement in punctuality in 2019. 96.7% (previous year: 96.5%) of all flights were handled without delay by air navigation services. Skyguide thus met the requirements of the European Performance Plan.