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September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
European governments have been urged to press ahead with plans to revamp the continent’s air traffic control system.
IATA director general Tony Tyler said that politicians needed to push through the Single European Sky (SES) project to reduce the costs to airlines and their passengers of inefficient air traffic management.
Unions representing air traffic controllers in France and Belgium took strike action last week in protest against the implementation of the SES.
But Tyler called this industrial action “short-sighted and ill-considered” and added that European governments should speed up the process.
“The costs of inadequate air traffic management to Europe are enormous—at least €3 billion for airlines and €6 billion for consumers in lost time and productivity each year,” said Tyler.
“On top of that, there is the environmental cost of 7.8 million tonnes of unnecessary carbon emissions. SES will reduce delays, cut emissions, raise safety levels and create 320,000 jobs across Europe. Delivering SES is critical for Europe’s future - we cannot afford any more frustrating delays.”
Tyler made his plea as IATA released figures showing that global air traffic rose by 6.2% in May compared to the same month in 2013. Although this was a lower rate of growth than the 7.6% rise seen in April.
“We are seeing healthy demand for air traffic to support and help sustain the pick-up in global economic activity,” added Tyler.
Growth was seen across all regions in May with traffic up year-on-year by 6.1% for European carriers and 4.4% for those operating in North America.
Middle Eastern airlines saw the biggest regional growth at 13.2%, followed by a 9.1% passenger rise in Latin America and a 7.3% increase in Asia-Pacific. Africa recorded the most anaemic growth at just 1.9% which was partly due to the slowdown in the South African economy.