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Today, flights conducted within FABEC are punctual – almost all flights arrive at their destination on time. This excellent service quality results from close collaboration between airlines, the Network Manager, airports, the military, ground handling crews and air navigation service providers. One indication that the punctuality of arrivals is improving is that the number of air traffic flow measures has gone down at major hubs in FABEC. Since 2011 – when the EU performance regulation began – the arrival delay caused by ANSPs has gone down dramatically at almost all major hubs located in FABEC. Some major airports have actually experienced no delay at all. Overall, the Network Manager reported that delays in Europe had been halved over the last decade while a similar amount of traffic was handled.
For air navigation service providers, the main indicator is air traffic flow management (ATFM) for the en-route phase of each flight. In 2016, 94.1 percent of all flights experienced no ATFM en-route delays; 97.5 percent were within 15 minutes of the scheduled time. The main reasons for delays were a lack of capacity and adverse weather, industrial action in France and staff shortages. It was the first time that the weather – particularly the severe thunderstorms in the second quarter of 2016 – had such an enormous impact.
Unfortunately, the impact of adverse weather is continuing in 2017. In addition, the unexpected strong growth of air traffic combined with a level of volatility in traffic flows never experienced before have led to capacity and staffing issues at some control centres. That is why FABEC air navigation service providers are developing and implementing operational improvements to ensure that passengers continue to arrive on time.
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