Europe’s challenging targets for ATM must be applied flexibly: CANSO

The Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) is urging flexibility and realism at the local level in implementing proposed and challenging EU-wide air traffic management (ATM) targets for the third reference period (RP3) of the Single European Sky Performance Scheme.

CANSO said that while it strongly supports the need for such performance-based targets for safety, flight efficiency, en-route delays and cost, reducing unit costs while continuing to tackle Europe’s capacity constraints poses a significant challenge/

“It is therefore vital that the binding local targets that flow from these EU-wide targets are realistic, achievable and appropriate for present conditions,” it said.

CANSO’s Jeff Poole, said: “CANSO members have worked hard to improve European ATM performance in recent years, achieving a 16 per cent 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.”

“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 is calling  on EU member states and their national supervisory authorities to embrace the opportunities set out in the RP3 framework and 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.