Airports call for swift ATM reform and better airspace & ground infrastructure integration

28 November 2018

Oslo - At the 12th ACI Airport Exchange conference & exhibition taking place this week in Oslo, hosted by Norwegian airport group AVINOR, the capacity challenge facing European air transport came into the spotlight once again.

Echoing Eurocontrol’s 2018 Challenges of Growth report and taking stock of the disruptions experienced by air travellers over the summer months¹, the airport industry urged long overdue ATM (Air Traffic Management) reform.

Releasing a new position on European Airspace, ACI EUROPE stressed how ATM disruptions & inefficiencies affect airport operations all the way into terminal buildings. These ATM disruptions & inefficiencies end up deteriorating the passenger’s airport experience and lead to reduced revenues & additional costs for airports. They also affect surrounding communities whenever delayed flights depart/land in breach of night operating restrictions.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE commented “Beyond passengers and airlines, airports are also impacted by ATM disruptions and the inability of airspace to keep up with air traffic growth. The promises of the EU’s Single European Sky project have failed to materialise. It is high time for a reset. We need to see meaningful reform.”

ACI EUROPE’s vision and proposals are focused on a better integration of airspace and ground infrastructure. Despite some progress over the past 10 years, through the deployment of operational processes such as A-CDM and new technology, as well as the institution of the Network Manager, airports and ANSPs (Air Navigation Service Providers) still operate too much in silos.

Olivier Jankovec said “Operations at and around airports need to become more coordinated and consolidated and they should be based on open and shared data sets and improved coordination between all involved: airports, airlines, ANSPs and the Network Manager. This is the only way to really place the passenger at the core of operational processes.”

ACI EUROPE’s proposals thus include:

- Establishing a contractual relationship between airports and ATC providers enabling information-sharing and joint processes – including agreed performance goals.

- Successful consolidation of the Airport Operations Plans/Ground Coordinator (AOP/APOC) and the Network Operations plan (NOP).- Concerted and accelerated technology investment planning by the Network Manager so as to allow more timely deployment of SESAR solutions/concepts.

- Stronger engagement of all actors with SESAR.

As technology & digitalisation will continue to drive efficiencies for all actors in European aviation, ACI EUROPE and its members have been actively supporting SESAR innovation and its deployment.

ACI EUROPE today released SESAR and the Digital Transformation of Europe’s Airports. In showcasing the SESAR solutions available to airports, this publication aims at further engaging the airport community in proven technological solutions for more efficient and sustainable airport operations.

  • Note to editors

    * With more than 50 exhibitors, 120 speakers and 900 participants expected, the event is one of the biggest in the air transport sector’s annual calendar. This year’s theme is “Developing sustainable airports, secure airports, safe airports…successful airports”.

    Visit for more details and follow the hashtag #ACIoslo on Twitter to see live updates during the conference.

    ¹ According to network performance data from EUROCONTROL for July-August:
    In July 2018, the delay per delayed flight was 34 minutes per flights. The percentage of delayed flights on departure was 59%. The percentage of delayed flights on arrival was 51%.

    In August 2018, the average delay per delayed flight on departure was 33 minutes per flight. The percentage of delayed flights on departure was 56%. This represents an increase of 6 percentage points compared to August 2017. The percentage of delayed flights on arrival increased to 47%.

    View ACI EUROPE’s new Position Paper on Airspace.

    SESAR and the Digital Transformation of Europe’s Airports can be downloaded here.