Europe’s regional airlines add to criticism of new ATM performance targets

The new ATM performance targets will fail to incentivise air navigation service providers to improve their performance and provide Europe with the airspace network it so desperately needs, according to the European regional airline industry.

Montserrat Barriga, director general of the European Airline Regions Association (ERA) added that not only will the new ATM performance targets not incentivise ANSPs to improve their performance abut it will also ‘reward those that perform poorly, and in the process frustrate those that have delivered’.

“As a result,” he said, “it is important for ERA to stand alongside the airline community and highlight the evident and urgent need to set ambitious and sustainable performance targets.”

The member states of the European Union (EU) have now accepted new Air Traffic Management (ATM) performance targets for the next five years which ERA said were set at a lower level of ambition than they have been for nearly a decade.

It said that in 2018, delays amounted to more than 19 million minutes, 105 per cent more than in 2017, and the average en route delay per flight was 1.73 minutes, more than three times the target.

“The agreed proposal for 2020–24 therefore fails to address that the much needed capacity, already paid for by airlines, has simply not been delivered by ANSPs and that this will further burden airlines and passengers with rising costs, delays and increased emissions.”

It points to a recent academic study ordered by the European Commission that conservatively estimated EU-wide cost inefficiencies in the range of 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

“Despite this, the EC has not followed its own academic recommendations to address this cost inefficiency and has agreed to even weaker targets,” said ERA.