CANSO calls for realistic implementation of challenging new EU-wide targets for air traffic management


CANSO (Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation) emphasises that flexibility and realism are needed at the local level in implementing proposed and challenging EU-wide air traffic management (ATM) targets. The new targets are for the third reference period (RP3) of the Single European Sky Performance Scheme. They cover performance in the areas of safety, flight efficiency, en-route delays and cost.

CANSO strongly supports the need for such performance-based targets as important to the development of ATM in Europe. However, the proposed new targets pose a significant challenge; to reduce unit costs while continuing to tackle the pressing capacity constraints affecting performance in Europe. It is therefore vital that the binding local targets that flow from these EU-wide targets are realistic, achievable and appropriate for present conditions.

CANSO Director General, Jeff Poole, said: “CANSO Members have worked hard to improve European ATM performance in recent years, achieving a 16 percent unit cost reduction between 2011 and 2017 while maintaining world-leading safety standards. But the work does not stop here; more needs to be done to ensure ATM performance addresses the needs of all stakeholders.”
Jeff Poole added: “Significant improvements have been made in cost-efficiency, but record traffic levels in Europe also call for increased capacity, investments and resourcing. We therefore need to work with the European Commission, States, regulators and industry stakeholders to ensure that we strike the appropriate balance between service delivery and cost, while safely and effectively meeting growing demand.”

“CANSO Members are addressing capacity challenges by deploying new investments, technologies and processes to modernise ATM. Furthermore, with summer 2019 expected to be the busiest yet, air navigation service providers (ANSPs) are deploying additional resources and working together with the Network Manager to mitigate disruption to airspace users and the flying public as much as possible.”

CANSO calls on EU Member States and their national supervisory authorities to embrace the opportunities set out in the RP3 framework. CANSO urges States to engage ANSPs and local stakeholders in meaningful consultation to ensure that the binding local targets that flow from the EU-wide targets are established without impacting safety, current capacity enhancement plans or ATM modernisation programmes already underway.

Jeff Poole continued: “We want to ensure that performance plans put in place in each State and/or functional airspace block (FAB) enable the industry to be adequately prepared for the demands of the future. We need to ensure Europe has the airspace capacity it requires, and that through the work of CANSO Members and their employees, it benefits from industry-leading safety and environmental standards and cost-efficient ATM services.

“But the ATM industry cannot do this alone,” concludes Poole. “It needs regulators, States and aviation industry partners to work together to champion the interests of the aviation industry and the challenges it faces, and find ways to deliver the necessary measures that enable safe, efficient and effective services, and ultimately a modern and high-performing ATM network on behalf of all customers and citizens.”