9-Jul-2013 11:13 AM

EUROCONTROL predicts 50% increase in flights and capacity challenges for 2035

EUROCONTROL released (08-Jul-2013) its fourth 'Challenges of Growth' study, which looks ahead to the state of air transport in 2035. EUROCONTROL stated: "Growth is expected to return, with the most likely scenario showing by 2035, and despite the current economic situation, that traffic in Europe will pick up again significantly with an increase in the number of flights to 14.4 million, which is 50% higher than in 2012. This predicted growth is slower than that forecast five years ago, as well as having been delayed for several years." The organisation projects an increase in airport capacity by 2035 of 17% as opposed to the 38% growth by 2030 it projected in 2008. Given the scaling back of airport capacity increases, EUROCONTROL stated: "In the most likely scenario, 1.9 million flights in 2035 would not be accommodated – 12 % of total demand. This scenario would also see more than 20 airports operating at 80% or more of capacity for six or more hours per day, compared to just three such airports in 2012. This would drive ATFCM (air traffic flow and capacity management) delay up to around 5-6 minutes, taking it from a minor or intermittent to a permanent, major contributor of delay. To put this number in context, the current 2014 EU target for en-route ATFM delay is only 0.5 minutes per flight." [more - original PR]